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Lincoln-Douglas  Debates 

Edited,  with  Introduction  and  Notes,  by 
EDWIN  ERLE  '-,PARKS,  Ph.  D.,  LL.  D. 

President  of  The  Pennsylvania  State  College;  formerly  Professor 

of  American  History  at  the  University  of  Chicago ;  Author 

of  "The  Expansion    of   the  American   People;"     "The 

Men  Who  Made  the  Nation ;"  "Lincoln-Douglas 

Debates,"  in  Illinois  Historical  Library. 


HALL  &  Mccreary,      f.  a.  owen  publishing  co. 

Chicago,  III.  Dansville,  N.  Y. 


Copyright,  1918 

The  Lincoln-Douglas  Debates 



Abraham  Lincoln 

From  a  Photograph  taken  in 



Stump  Speaking— As  the  American  people  pushed 
their  way  across  the  continent  from  the  Atlantic  to  the 
Pacific,  the  thin  edge  of  advancing  civilization  was 
known  as  the  * 'frontier."  It  was  made  up  of  coura- 
geous spirits  who  subdued  the  Indians,  drove  the  French 
and  Spanish  from  their  pathway,  slew  the  wild  beasts, 
felled  the  forests,  built  their  log  cabins,  and  planted 
their  fields.  Daniel  Boone  and  Davy  Crockett  belonged 
to  these  hardy  people.  Cut  off  from  the  comforts  and 
privileges  which  they  had  enjoyed  before  migrating  to 
"the  West,"  these  people  resorted  to  various  make- 
shifts to  supply  their  needs.  They  used  Indian  moc- 
casins on  their  feet,  and  coonskin  caps  on  their  heads. 
Lacking  newspapers,  they  learned  the  issues  of  the 
political  campaigns  by  assembling  to  hear  the  candi- 
dates who,  in  turn,  mounted  the  stump  of  a  felled  tree 
in  the  streets  of  the  frontier  town  and  from  that  forum 
addressed  the  voters.  A  good  "stump  speaker"  could 
always  attract  a  crowd,  and  a  wit  combat  between  two 
speakers  representing  opposite  parties  was  a  real  holi- 
day of  sport.  It  is  true  that  the  jokes  and  counter- 
strokes  were  often  feeble  attempts,  and  sometimes  not 


very  far  removed  from  vulgarity;  but  the  stronger  the 
blows  the  better  they  were  liked,  and  the  more  per- 
sonal, the  more  enjoyable  they  were. 

The  spirit  of  democracy  was  strong  in  these  pioneers 
and  made  them  intensely  interested  in  politics.  Their 
fondness  for  hearing  political  speeches,  their  attend- 
ance upon  political  meetings,  their  parades,  floats, 
banners,  and  bands  remained  even  after  the  first  frontier 
stage  of  progress  had  passed  and  the  country  was  well 
settled.  In  Illinois,  stump  speaking  was  popular  as 
late  as  1858,  although  the  frontier  had  passed  on  into 
Kansas  and  Nebraska,  just  ready  for  statehood. 

Political  Parties — The  slavery  question  was  always 
a  festering  thorn  in  the  side  of  the  body  politic,  fre- 
quently poulticed  by  compromises,  but  manifesting  it- 
self whenever  a  new  national  issue  arose.  The  Aboli- 
tionists, headed  by  William  Lloyd  Garrison,  Wendell 
Phillips,  and  others,  opposed  all  compromises  and  stood 
for  the  unconditional  and  immediate  emancipation  of 
the  slaves.  They  were  bitterly  condemned  by  both  the 
Whig  and  Democrat  parties  as  wild  and  dangerous  re- 
formers, who  were  likely  to  bring  about  a  dissolution 
of  the  Union  through  their  agitation.  Each  party 
denied  any  sympathy  for  or  connection  with  the 

The  contention  of  the  Abolitionists  that  slavery  was 
wrong  ethically,  made  little  progress  until  it  became 
an  economic  and  political  matter  through  the  proposed 
statehood  for  Kansas  and  Nebraska.  The  prairies  were 
not  fitted  climatically  for  cotton  raising,  which  made 
slaveholding  profitable;  but  if  two  new  States  came  in 


free,  as  they  must  do  under  the  Compromise  of  1820/ 
they  would  add  four  free  Senators  and  many  free  Con- 
gressmen to  the  Northern  strength,  thereby  further 
curbing  the  slaveholding  power  in  national  affairs. 

The  demand  of  the  South  for  an  adjustment  led,  in 
1854,  to  the  substitution  for  the  Missouri  Compromise 
of  1820  of  a  new  remedy  (the  Kansas-Nebraska  meas- 
ure) which,  by  permitting  the  people  of  the  proposed 
states  to  determine  whether  they  would  be  free  or 
slave,  was  thought  to  be  the  very  essence  of  democ- 
racy or  home  rule.  As  usual,  in  temporizing  with  the 
evil  the  remedy  became  worse  than  the  disease. 

The  Republican  Party — This  setting  aside  of  the 
Missouri  Compromise  for  * 'squatter  sovereignty'* 
banded  together  Northern  Whigs  and  Northern  Demo- 
crats on  an  anti-slavery  platform;  and  they  speedily 
formed  a  new  party,  calling  themselves  Republicans. 
In  1856  the  new  party  had  a  candidate  for  the  presi- 
dency, Fremont,  and  parties  were  now  known  politi- 
cally as  Democrats,  Old  Line  Whigs,  and  Republicans. 
The  first  two  refused  to  recognize  the  Republican 
movement  as  more  than  a  conspiracy  or  corrupt  bargain 
between  leaders  to  break  up  the  old  parties  and  bring 
themselves  into  political  power.  In  the  debates  it  will 
be  noticed  that  Douglas  assails  the  corrupt  bargain  be- 
tween Lincoln,  an  Old  Line  Whig,  and  Trumbull,  a 
Democrat,  both  of  whom  deserted  the  old  parties  to 
join  the  new  Republican  party. 

1.  The  Missouri  Compromise  of  1820  provided  that  Missouri  should  come  into 
the  Union  as  a  slave  State,  but  that  thereafter  in  the  territory  acquired  by 
the  Louisiana  Purchase,  slavery  should  be  forever  prohibited  north  of  lati- 
tude 36°  30',  which  was  the  line  of  the  southern  boundary  of  Missouri. 


The  Little  Giant — Stephen  A.  Douglas,  a  Senator 
from  Illinois  and  a  Northern  Democrat,  was  chairman 
of  the  Senate  Committee  on  Territories.  As  such  he 
pushed  the  Kansas-Nebraska  bill  of  1854  through  both 
Houses,  and  incurred  the  criticism  of  the  free  soil  ad- 
vocates of  both  parties  in  the  North.  He  said  later  that 
he  could  have  traveled  from  Washington  to  his  home 
in  Chicago,  when  Congress  adjourned,  by  the  light 
of  himself  being  burned  in  effigy.  For  three  hours  in 
his  home  town  he  tried  in  vain  to  get  his  constituents 
to  listen  to  his  explanations. 

Douglas  was  born  in  Vermont,  migrated  to  Illinois, 
and  had  advanced  rapidly  through  the  offices  of  pros- 
ecuting attorney.  State  legislator.  Registrar  of  Public 
Lands,  candidate  for  Congress,  State  Supreme  Court 
Judge,  Congressman  for  two  terms,  and  linally,  in  1845, 
member  of  the  United  States  Senate.  He  had  served 
two  terms  in  the  Senate,  and  in  1858  was  a  candidate 
for  a  third  election  by  the  State  legislature.  He  had 
a  most  winning  personality,  a  fearless  spirit,  a  quick 
temper,  and  an  unlimited  energy  of  physical  force  and 
will  power.  He  was  short  and  heavy  in  figure,  but 
possessed  a  far-reaching  voice,  and  early  acquired  the 
nickname  of  *The  Little  Giant."  In  stump  speaking 
he  was  considered  the  champion  of  the  Middle  West. 

Honest  Old  Abe — Among  those  who  watched  with 
interest  the  course  of  The  Little  Giant  was  Abraham 
Lincoln,  a  member  of  the  Whig  party,  who  wrote  to  a 
friend  in  1854  that  Douglas's  action  miglit  have  created 
an  opening  for  a  Whig  Senator  from  Illinois,  and  **if 
so,  I  want  the  chance  of  being  that  man;"  but  it  v;as 


thought  best  to  nominate  Lyman  Trumbull.  Four 
years  later  Lincoln  had  the  opportunity. 

Lincoln  started  even  lower  in  life  than  Douglas,  and 
progressed  more  slowly.  He  lacked  Douglas's  personal 
magnetism  and  suffered  still  more  by  comparison  of 
appearance.  He  was  tall,  ungainly,  and  careless  in  his 
dress.  He  was  also  hampered  all  his  life  by  poverty. 
On  the  other  hand,  he  possessed  more  natural  shrewd- 
ness than  Douglas,  and  always  kept  his  temper,  even 
under  the  flings  of  Douglas.  His  habits  of  life  were 
extremely  temperate  and  formed  a  marked  contrast  to 
other  men  in  public  life  at  that  time. 

Lincoln  and  Douglas  knew  each  other  at  the  State 
Capital,  and  in  the  Courts  where  both  practiced  law. 
Lincoln  had  taken  little  part  in  politics  except  to  serve 
a  term  in  Congress,  1847-9.  He  was  a  candidate  for 
the  Senate  in  1854,  as  has  been  said,  but  withdrew  in  fa- 
vor of  Trumbull.  Small  wonder  that  many  thought  him 
presumptuous  in  aspiring  to  the  United  States  Senate 
in  1858,  and  especially  when  that  meant  to  oppose  the 
great  Douglas.  The  task  seemed  doubly  hard  because 
Lincoln  was  the  candidate  of  a  new  party,  the  Republi- 
can or  *' Black  Republican,"  as  the  Democrats  dubbed 
it  because  of  its  espousal  of  the  rights  of  the  negro. 

Political  Conditions — It  was  customary  at  that  time 
to  hold  nominating  conventions  some  months  before 
elections.  The  State  Legislatures  elected  the  United 
States  Senators,  and  so  the  choice  of  members  of  the 
Legislature  in  senatorial  election  years  was  a  matter  of 
vital  importance.  Illinois  had  always  been  Democratic, 
and   Douglas   felt   no    apprehension  in  the  senatorial 


election  of  1857  except  so  far  as  the  Kansas-Nebraska 
turmoil  should  disturb  normal  conditions.  Late  in  1857 
some  of  the  residents  of  the  Territory  of  Kansas  had 
formed,  at  Lecompton,  a  pro-slavery  constitution  for 
the  proposed  State.  President  Buchanan  favored  the 
adoption  of  the  "Lecompton  Constitution,"  but  Doug- 
las opposed  it  on  the  ground  that  it  was  not  a  fair  test 
of  the  theory  of  "squatter  sovereignty;"  all  the  people 
of  the  Territory  had  not  taken  part.  The  Democratic 
party  in  Illinois  was  therefore  in  a  divided  condition, 
and  there  might  besomeshiftingto  the  new  Republican 
party  if  it  came  out  with  a  strong  Free-Soil  platform. 
The  fears  of  the  Democratic  party  leaders  were  realized, 
April  21, 1858,  when  the  Democratic  State  Committee 
met  at  Springfield  and  nominated  Douglas  on  an  anti- 
Lecompton  platform, which  caused  a  number  of  the  dele- 
gates to  "bolt"  the  convention,  and,  six  weeks  later, 
to  hold  another  convention  and  nominate  another  ticket. 
Consequently,  it  was  with  high  hopes  that  the  new 
Republican  party  met  in  convention  at  Springfield  in 
June,  and  resolved  that  Abraham  Lincoln  was  the  first 
and  only  choice  of  the  Republicans  of  Illinois  for  the 
United  States  Senate  as  the  successor  of  Stephen  A. 
Douglas.  The  speech  which  Lincoln  had  prepared  for 
the  convention  he  read  from  manuscript,  a  thing  which 
he  rarely  did,  and  he  also  carefully  read  the  proof  in 
the  printing  ofRce  before  the  speech  was  published. 
He  was  stating  the  principles  of  the  new  party  and,  as 
it  chanced,  of  a  new  era  in  American  politics.  Douglas 
would  make  every  use  of  the  platform,  and  Lincoln  must 
be  careful  to  see  that  it  was  so  plain  that  its  statements 
co^ld  not  be  twisted  or  misconstrued  bythe  wily  debater. 
^   The  two  strong  factors  in  the  campaign  were  the  sit- 


uation  in  the  Kansas-Nebraska  territory,  and  a  recent 
decision  by  the  Supreme  Court  of  the  United  States. 
This  held  in  the  case  of  Dred  Scott/  a  fugitive  slave,  that 
no  negro  slave  or  his  descendant  can  ever  be  a  citizen  of 
a  State,  that  neither  Congress  nor  a  State  Legislature 
can  exclude  slavery  from  a  State  or  Territory,  and  that 
the  decision  whether  a  slave  can  be  held  in  a  free  State 
depends  upon  the. courts  of  that  State.  Douglas  saw 
how  inconsistent  this  decision  was  with  his  squatter  sov- 
ereignty theory,  and  was  driven  to  say  that  he  * 'cared 
not  whether  slavery  was  voted  up  or  voted  down,"  pro- 
vided the  people  had  a  fair  vote  on  the  question.  Lin- 
coln in  his  speech  at  the  Republican  nominating  con- 
vention seized  the  opportunity  to  point  out  where  the 
development  of  events  had  put  Douglas.  *  *His  friends, ' ' 
he  said,  "remind  us  that  he  is  a  great  man  and  that 
the  largest  of  us  are  very  small  ones.  Let  this  be 
granted.  But  *a  living  dog  is  better  than  a  dead  lion.' 
Judge  Douglas,  if  not  a  dead  lion,  for  this  work  is  at 
least  a  caged  and  toothless  one." 

In  opening  the  speech,  Lincoln  used  a  paraphrase  of 
Mark  3:25  which  was  prophetic  and  destined  to  be- 
come immortal,  although  Douglas  later  declared  it  se- 
ditious.    Lincoln  said: 

**A/r.  President  and  Gentlemen  of  the  Convention: 
If  we  could  know  where  we  are,  and  whither  we  are 
tending,  we  could  better  judge  what  to  do,  and  how  to 

1.  Dred  Scott  was  a  slave  in  Missouri,  a  slave  State  ;  his  owner  took  him  in 
1834  to  Illinois,  a  free  State  ;  then,  in  1834,  to  Minnesota,  a  free  Territory. 
Later  his  owner  took  him  back  to  Missouri,  when  he  sued  for  his  freedom,  on 
the  ground  that  he  had  resided,  for  a  while  at  least,  on  free  soil.  His  owner 
claimed  that  having  been  born  of  slave  parentage  and  never  having  been  set 
free,  he  was  still  a  slave,  notwithstanding  his  places  of  temporary  residence. 
In  1857  the  Supreme  Court  of  the  United  States  decided  in  favor  of  the  owner. 


do  it.     We  are  now  far  into  the  fifth  year  since  a  pol- 
icy was  initiated  with  the  avowed  object  and  confident 
,   promise  of  putting  an  end  to  slavery  agitation.     Un- 
t^  der  the  operation  of  that  policy,  that  agitation  has  not 
I  only  not  ceased,  but  has  constantly  augmented.     In  my 
)    opinion,  it  will  not  cease  until  a  crisis  shall  have  been 
i    reached  and  passed.     *A  house  divided  against  itself 
)    cannot  stand.'    I  believe  this  government  cannot  en- 
dure permanently  half  slave  and  half  free.     I  do  not 
,     expect  the  Union  to  be  dissolved;  I' do  not  expect  the 
;    house  to  fall;  butldo  expect  it  will  cease  to   be  di- 
*    vided.  ^It  will  become  all  one  thing  or  all  the  other. 
Either' the  opponents~of  slavery  will  arrest  the  further 
spread  of  it,  and  place  it  where  the  public  mind  shall 
rest  in  the  belief  that  it  is  in   the  course  of  ultimate 
extinction,  or  its  advocates  will  push  it  forward  till  it 
shall  become  alike  lawful  in  all  the  States,  old  as  well 
as  new,  North  as  well  as  South." 

Such  was  the  condition  of  affairs  at  the  opening  of 
the  campaign  between  Douglas  and  Lincoln  for  the 
senatorship  of  Illinois  in  1858. 

The  Challenge — Douglas  at  once  gave  out  a  list  of 
his  speaking  appointments  for  July,  and  closing  on 
August  21  at  Ottawa.  The  Republicans  also  prepared 
a  list  of  Republican  meetings  at  which  Lincoln  was 
scheduled  to  speak,  in  some  cases  coinciding  with  the 
Democratic  dates  and  in  others  following  a  day  later. 
At  the  meetings  the  crowd  sometimes  called  upon  Lin- 
coln to  reply  to  Douglas  and  the  Democratic  papers 
complained  that  Lincoln  was  showing  bad  taste  in  fol- 
lowing Douglas  about  and  taking  advantage  of  his  large 
audiences.  Douglas  devoted  a  larger  part  of  his  time 
to  Trumbull,  his  co-senator  from  Illinois,  whom  he  ac- 
cused of  making  a  compact  with  Lincoln  to  dissolve 
both  the  old   Whig  and   old   Democratic  parties   and 


to  unite  with  the  Abolitionists  in  forming  the  new 
* 'Black"  Republican  party.  Trumbull,  in  turn,  charged 
Douglas  with  making  a  corrupt  bargain  in  favoring 
the  repeal  of  the  Missouri  Compromise  measure. 

It  appeared  as  if  the  campaign  would  resolve  itself 
into  a  contest  between  Douglas  and  Trumbull,  while 
Lincoln,  who  was  the  actual  candidate  for  Douglas's 
place,  would  be  lost  sight  of.  Consequently,  after  con- 
sulting his  friends,  Lincoln  wrote  to  Douglas,  July  24, 
1858,  inquiring  whether  it  would  be  agreeable  **to  di- 
vide time  and  address  the  same  audiences  in  the  pres- 
ent canvass."  Douglas  replied  the  same  day  that  his 
schedule  had  been  made  out,  that  the  Democratic  can- 
didates for  other  offices  on  the  State  ticket  must  be 
given  a  hearing  at  his  meetings;  but  that  he  would 
arrange  seven  extra  meetings  at  which  he  would  dis- 
cuss the  issues  of  the  day  with  Lincoln.  He  further 
named  the  places,  one  in  each  of  the  seven  Congres- 
sional districts  of  the  State,  omitting  the  Springfield 
and  Chicago  districts,  in  which  both  had  already  spoken 
through  Lincoln's  '*follow-up"  method. 

Lincoln  accepted  the  seven  places  and  the  following 
letters  closed  the  arrangements: 

Bement,  Piatt  Co.,  111.,  July  30,  1858 
Dear  Sir: — 

Your  letter  dated  yesterday,  accepting  my  proposition 
for  a  joint  discussion  at  one  prominent  point  in  each  Con- 
gressional District,  as  stated  in  my  previous  letter,  was 
received  this  morning. 

The  times  and  places  designated  are  as  follows: 

Ottawa,  LaSalle  County     -     -      -    August  21,  1858. 

Freeport,  Stephenson  County     -     -  "      27,     " 


Jonesboro,  Union  County    -    -     September  15, 
Charleston,  Coles  County      -     -  "  18, 

Galesburg,  Knox  County    -    -    -       October  7, 

Quincy,  Adams  County "      13, 

Alton,  Madison  County "      15, 

I  agree  to  your  suggestion  that  we  shall  alternately 
open  and  close  the  discussion.  I  will  speak  at  Ottawa  for 
one  hour,  you  can  reply,  occupying  an  hour  and  a  half,  and 
I  will  then  follow  for  half  an  hour.  At  Freeport  you  shall 
open  the  discussion  and  speak  for  one  hour.  We  will  alter- 
nate in  like  manner  in  each  successive  place. 
Very  respectfully,  your  obedient  servant, 

S.  A.  Douglas 
Hon.  A.  Lincoln,  Springfield,  111. 

Springfield,  July  31,  1858. 
Hon.  S.  A.   Douglas. 
Dear  Sir: 

Yours  of  yesterday,  naming  places,  times,  and  terms, 
for  joint  discussions  between  us,  was  received  this  morning. 
Although,  by  the  terms,  as  you  propose,  you  take /oi(r  open- 
ings and  closings,  to  my  three,  I  accede,  and  thus  close  the 
arrangement.  I  direct  this  to  you  at  Hillsboro  and  shall 
try  to  have  both  your  letter  and  this  appear  in  the  Journal 
and  Register  of  Monday  morning. 

Your  obedient  servant, 
A.  Lincoln. 

The  newspapers  of  the  State  approved  of  this  ar- 
rangement to  *'let  the  people  judge  for  themselves  who 
shall  be  their  choice  after  a  fair  hearing  of  them  both 
in  person''  and  to  "submit  the  whole  case  to  such  pop- 
ular jurors,  called  together  by  the  joint  efforts  of  the 
two  parties."  The  Douglas  papers  made  flings  at  the 
egotism  and  the  presumption  of  the  upstart  to  try  to 
thrust  himself  upon  the  public  by  using  the  crowds 
which  would  come  to  hear  The  Little  Giant. 


The  Course  of  the  Debates — The  series  began 
August  21  and  closed  October  15,  covering  a  period  of 
nearly  eight  weeks.  Douglas  began  immediately  an 
attack  on  the  new  Republican  party,  of  which  his  op- 
ponent was  one  of  the  founders,  and  claimed  that  a  bar- 
gain had  been  made  between  his  former  fellow  Demo- 
crat, Judge  Trumbull,  and  Abraham  Lincoln,  to  unite 
with  the  Abolitionists  in  a  sectional  revolt  against  slav- 
ery; a  course  which  would  endanger  the  Union.  He 
used  Lincoln's  "house  divided  against  itself"  as  proof 
of  this  disloyalty.  Lincoln  denied  the  charge  of  Abo- 
litionism and  stated  in  simple  language  his  opinion  of 
the  rights  of  the  negro;  and  then  opened  up  the  record 
of  Douglas  on  the  territorial  extension  of  slavery  and 
the  Dred  Scott  case. 

It  was  customary  for  a  debater  to  ask  his  opponent 
a  series  of  questions  intended  to  compromise  him  or  to 
put  him  in  an  embarrassing  position.  Douglas  did  this 
in  the  very  first  debate,  hoping  to  set  a  trap  for  Lin- 
coln; but  in  the  second  debate  Lincoln  answered  these 
questions  and  then  countered  with  four  sequential 
questions  which  some  historians  think  caught  Douglas 
in  his  own  trap. 

This  second  (Freeport)  debate  is  considered  the  most 
important  of  the  series.  The  second  question  of  Lin- 
coln, as  to  the  right  of  a  people  of  a  Territory  to  ex- 
clude slavery  before  becoming  a  State,  made  Douglas 
reaffirm  what  he  had  said  **a  hundred  times  from  every 
stump  in  Illinois."  He  had  to  choose  between  an 
affirmative  answer,  which  would  please  Northern  Dem- 
ocrats and  gain  him  the  Senatorship,  but  bar  all  hopes 
of  the  presidency  through  alienating  the  South;  or  re- 


turning  a  negative  answer,  which  would  cost  him  his 
Northern  favor  and  the  Senatorship.  Also,  an  affirma- 
tive reply  would  be  wholly  at  variance  with  the  Dred 
Scott  decision.    Neverthless  he  answered  affirmatively. 

It  is  Gaid  that  Lincoln  saw  the  result  of  the  affirma- 
tive reply  which  Douglas  would  probably  give  and 
which  would  cost  Lincoln  the  senatorship,  but  that  he 
looked  forward  to  the  presidential  election  of  1860,  and 
in  his  homely  vernacular  said,  **I  am  after  larger 
game."  Admirers  of  Douglas  doubt  this  story,  and 
deny  that  Lincoln  drove  Douglas  into  a  corner,  because 
Douglas  had  on  several  prior  occasions  declared  that 
the  people  of  a  Territory  can,  by  lawful  means,  exclude 
slavery  from  their  limits  prior  to  the  formation  of  a 
State  Constitution. 

In  the  next  debate  Douglas  reiterated  his  "bargain" 
claim,  and  expressed  his  unconcern  whether  slavery  was 
* 'voted  up  or  voted  down"  in  a  Territorial  legislature. 
This  involved  the  idea  that  matters  should  go  on  as 
they  had  been,  but  Lincoln  showed  that  Douglas  by  his 
own  action  had  made  this  impossible.  Lincoln  also  ex- 
ploded Douglas'  theory  of  squatter  sovereignty  by  say- 
ing that  it  simply  amounted  to  this:  "That  if  any  one 
man  choose  to  enslave  another,  no  third  man  shall  be 
allowed  to  object."  The  compact  with  Trumbull  and 
many  items  of  local  Illinois  politics  were  frequently 
tossed  back  and  forth  between  the  two.  These  are 
omitted  from  this  volume  because  they  had  no  bearing 
on  the  national  situation. 

At  Jonesboro,  Douglas  took  a  fling  at  negroes  ming- 
ling with  whites,  and  insinuated  that  Lincoln  and  the 
Republicans  were  in  favor  of  the  equality  of  the  two 


races.  To  this  Lincoln  said  tlie  final  word  at  Charleston 
in  regard  to  the  possibility  of  a  white  man  marrying 
a  colored  woman. 

There  were  several  passages  at  arms  between  the  de- 
baters, and  some  crude  banter  which  would  scarcely  be 
considered  in  good  taste  at  present.  The  least  justifi- 
able was  D.ouglas  reviving  the  old  falsehood  that  while 
in  Congress  in  1847  Lincoln  had  voted  against  sending 
supplies  to  our  troops  fighting  in  Mexico.  Lincoln 
was  manifestly  aroused  to  anger,  as  his  reply  shows. 
But  he  was  even  more  angered  when  Douglas  poked 
fun  at  him  about  his  powers  of  physical  endurance, 
suggesting  that  Lincoln  was  so  exhausted  at  Ottawa 
that  he  had  to  be  carried  from  the  platform,  when  in 
truth  he  had  been  carried  away,  despite  his  protests, 
on  the  shoulders  of  his  enthusiastic  followers. 

Douglas  frequently  lost  his  temper  when  interrupted, 
as  he  was  at  Freeport  by  his  hearers  who  took  excep- 
tion to  his  constant  use  of  the  term  "Black"  Rebpuli- 
can.  To  his  complaint  that  no  Democrat  had  been  vul- 
gar and  blackguard  enough  to  interrupt  Lincoln  while 
he  had  the  platform,  Lincoln  replied  that  while  he  was 
speaking  he  has  used  no  vulgarity  or  blackguardism 
toward  the  Democrats  in  the  crowd. 

The  Results  of  the  Debates — Extracts  from  the 
debates  were  printed  in  the  leading  newspapers  from 
New  York  to  St.  Louis.  Douglas's  ''Freeport  doctrine^' 
was  strongly  denounced  by  the  Southern  people.  It  made 
him  impossible  to  them  as  a  candidate  for  the  presi- 
dency in  1860  and  this  caused  a  split  in  the  Democratic 
party  and  the  election  of  Lincoln.  Lincoln  lost  the  sen- 


atorship,  as  his  friends  had  predicted.-^  He  borrowed 
enough  money  to  pay  all  obligations  incurred  during 
the  campaign,  and  expressed  himself  as  satisfied  be- 
cause he  had  *'got  a  hearing/'  Only  two  debates  have 
come  down  by  name  in  American  history:  one  is  the 
Hayne-Webster  and  the  other  is  the  Lincoln- Douglas. 
The  former  established  the  standing  of  the  Constitution ; 
the  latter  paved  the  way  for  the  thirteenth,  fourteenth, 
and  fifteenth  amendments. 

1.  Lincoln  received  a  majority  of  4,085  in  the  popular  vote.  In  spite  of  this, 
the  arrangement  of  the  Legislative  districts,  together  with  hold-over 
Senators, was  such  that  the  Democrats  secured  14  seats  in  the  Senate  to  11 
for  the  Republicans,  and  40  in  the  House  to  35  Republicans. 



Ottawa,  August  21,  1858 


Ladies  and  Gentlemen :  I  appear  before  you  to-day 
for  the  purpose  of  discussing  the  leading  political  topics 
which  now  agitate  the  public  mind.  By  an  arrange- 
ment between  Mr.  Lincoln  and  myself,  we  are  present 
here  to-day  for  the  purpose  of  having  a  joint  discus- 
sion, as  the  representatives  of  the  two  great  political 
parties  of  the  State  and  Union,  upon  the  principles  in 
issue  between  those  parties;  and  this  vast  concourse  of 
people  shows  the  deep  feeling  which  pervades  the  pub- 
lic mind  in  regard  to  the  questions  dividing  us. 

Prior  to  1854  this  country  was  divided  into  two 
great  political  parties,  known  as  the  Whig^  and  Dem- 
ocratic parties.  Both  were  national  and  patriotic,  ad- 
vocating principles  that  were  universal  in  their  ap- 
plication. ..  .  The  Whig  party  and  the  Democratic 
party  jointly  adopted  the  compromise  measures  of 
1850^  as  the  basis  of  a  proper  and  just  solution  of  this 
slavery  question  in  all  its  forms. 

1.  The  Whig  party  arose  about  1825,  although  the  name  was  not  used  until 
some  years  later.  Henry  Clay,  John  Quincy  Adams,  and  Daniel  Webster 
were  the  great  leaders.  The  Democratic  party  came  into  existence  about 
the  same  time,  under  Andrew  Jackson's  leadership. 

2.  The  Compromise  of  1850  involved  the  admission  of  California,  the  organi- 
zation of  New  Mexico  and  Utah  as  territories,  to  be  free  or  slave  States  as 
their  inhabitants  might  decide  (squatter  sovereignty),  the  payment  of  a 
money  indemnity  to  Texas,  a  more  rigid  Fugitive  Slave  law,  and  the  abolition 
of  the  slave  trade,  but  not  of  slavery,  in  the  District  of  Columbia. 


Up  to  1853-54,  the  Whig  party  and  the  Democratic 
party  both  stood  on  the  same  platform  with  regard  to 
the  slavery  question.  That  platform  was  the  right  of 
the  people  of  each  State  and  each  Territory  to  decide 
their  local  and  domestic  institutions  for  themselves, 
subject  only  to  the  Federal  Constitution. 

During  the  session  of  Congress  of  1853-54,  I  intro- 
duced into  the  Senate  of  the  United  States  a  bill  to 
organize  the  Territories  of  Kansas  and  Nebraska  on  that 
principle  which  had  been  adopted  in  the  Compromise 
measures  of  1850.  ...  I  put  forth  the  true  intent  and 
meaning  of  the  Act  in  these  words:  **It  is  the  true 
intent  and  meaning  of  this  Act  not  to  legislate  slavery 
into  any  State  or  Territory,  or  to  exclude  it  there- 
from, but  to  leave  the  people  thereof  perfectly  free  to 
form  and  regulate  their  domestic  institutions  in  their 
own  way,  subject  only  to  the  Federal  Constitution." 
Thus,  you  see,  that  up  to  1854,  when  the  Kansas  and 
Nebraska  bill  was  brought  into  Congress  for  the  pur- 
pose of  carrying  out  the  principles  which  both  parties 
had  up  to  that  time  indorsed  and  approved,  there  had 
been  no  division  in  this  country  in  regard  to  that  prin- 
ciple except  the  opposition  of  the  Abolitionists!.  .  . . 

In  1854,  Mr.  Abraham  Lincoln  and  Mr.  Trumbull^ 
entered  into  an  arrangement,  one  with  the  other,  and 
each  with  his  respective  friends,  to  dissolve  the  old 
Whig  party  on  the  one  hand,  and  to  dissolve  the  old 

1.  The  Abolitionists  wished  to  free  all  slaves  by  an  amendment  to  the  Con- 
stitution, without  compensation  to  the  owners. 

2.  Lyman  Trumbull,  lawyer,  was  born  in  Connecticut  in  1813.  settled  in 
Illinois,  and  became  Secretary  of  State  of  Illinois  in  1841,  Justice  of  the  State 
Supreme  Court  in  1848,  and  U.  S.  Senator  in  1855.  He  was  a  Democrat,  but 
joined  the  new  Republican  party  in  1855. 



Democratic  party  on  the  other,  and  to  connect  the  mem- 
bers of  both  into  an  Abolition  party,  under  the  name 
and  disguise  of  a  Republican  party.  .  .  .  Lincoln  went 
to  work  to  Abolitionize  the  old  Whig  party  all  over  the 
State,  pretending  that  he  was  then  as  good  a  Whig  as 
ever;  and  Trumbull  went  to  work  in  his  part  of  the 
State  preaching  Abolitionism  in  its  milder  and  lighter 
form,  and  trying  to  Abolitionize  the  Democratic  party, 
and  bring  old  Democrats  handcuffed  and  bound  hand 
and  foot  into  the  Abolition  camp.  In  pursuance  of  the 
arrangement,  the  parties  met  at  Springfield  in  October, 
1854,  and  proclaimed  their  new  platform ....  I  have  the 
resolutions  of  their  State  Convention  then  held,  which 
was  the  first  mass  State  Convention  ever  held  in  Illinois 
by  the  Black  Republican  party,  and  I  now  hold  them  in 
my  hands  and  will  read  a  part  of  them,  and  cause  the 
others  to  be  printed.  Here  are  the  most  important  and 
material  resolutions  of  this  Abolition  platform: — 

1.  Resolved,  That  we  believe  this  truth  to  be  self-evi- 
dent, that  when  parties  become  subversive  of  the  ends  for 
which  they  are  established,  or  incapable  of  restoring  the 
Government  to  the  true  principles  of  the  Constitution,  it  is 
the  right  and  duty  of  the  people  to  dissolve  the  political 
bands  by  which  they  may  have  been  connected  therewith, 
and  to  organize  new  parties  upon  such  principles  and  with 
such  views  as  the  circumstances  and  exigencies  of  the  na- 
tion may  demand. 

2.  Resolved,  That  the  times  imperatively  demand  the  re- 
organization of  parties,  and,  repudiating  all  previous  party 
attachments,  names,  and  predilections,  we  unite  ourselves 
together  in  defense  of  the  liberty  and  Constitution  of  the 
country,  and  will  hereafter  cooperate  as  the  Republican 
party,  pledged  to  the  accomplishment  of  the  following  pur- 
poses; To  bring  the  administration  of  the  Government  back 


to  the  control  of  first  principles;  to  restore  Nebraska  and 
Kansas  to  the  position  of  free  Territories;  that,  as  the  Con- 
stitution of  the  United  States  vests  in  the  States,  and  not 
in  Congress,  the  power  to  legislate  for  the  extradition  of 
fugitives  from  labor,  to  repeal  and  entirely  abrogate  the 
Fugitive  Slave  Law;  ^  to  restrict  slavery  to  those  States  in 
which  it  exists;  to  prohibit  the  admission  of  any  more  Slave 
States  into  the  Union;  to  abolish  slavery  in  the  District  of 
Columbia;  to  exclude  slavery  from  all  the  Territories  over 
which  the  General  Government  has  exclusive  jurisdiction ; 
and  to  resist  the  acquirement  of  any  more  Territories  unless 
the  practice  of  slavery  therein  forever  shall  have  been  pro- 

3.  Resolved,  That  in  furtherance  of  these  principles  we 
will  use  such  Constitutional  and  lawful  means  as  shall  seem 
best  adapted  to  their  accomplishment,  and  that  we  will  sup- 
port no  man  for  office,  under  the  General  or  State  Govern- 
ment, who  is  not  positively  and  fully  committed  to  the  sup- 
port of  these  principles,  and  whose  personal  character  and 
conduct  is  not  a  guarantee  that  he  is  reliable,  and  who  shall 
not  have  abjured  old  party  allegiance  and  ties.^ 

Now,  gentlemen,  your  Black  Republicans  have  cheered 
every  one  of  those  propositions,  and  yet  I  venture  to 
say  that  you  cannot  get  Mr.  Lincoln  to  come  out  and 
say  that  he  is  now  in  favor  of  each  one  of  them.  That 
these  propositions,  one  and  all,  constitute  the  platform 
of  the  Black  Republican  party  of  this  day,  1  have  no 
doubt;  and  when  you  were  not  aware  for  what  pur- 
pose I  was  reading  them,  your  Black  Republicans  cheered 
them  as  good  Black  Republican  doctrines.  My  object 
in  reading  these  resolutions  was  to  put  the  question  to 

1.  The  Fugitive  Slave  law  was  part  of  the  Compromise  of  1850.  It  placed 
the  duty  of  returning  runaway  slaves  in  the  hands  of  United  States  Marshals 
instead  of  State  officers. 

2.  These  resolutions,  as  it  later  was  understood,  were  adopted  at  a  local 
convention,  preceding  the  first  regular  Republican  convention  by  two  years. 
See  note  on  page  28, 


Abraham  Lincoln  this  day,  whether  he  now  stands  and 
will  stand  by  each  article  in  that  creed  and  carry  it 
out.  I  desire  to  know  whether  Mr.  Lincoln  to-day 
stands,  as  he  did  in  1854,  in  favor  of  the  unconditional 
repeal  of  the  Fugitive  Slave  law.  I  desire  him  to  an- 
swer whether  he  stands  pledged  to-day,  as  he  did  in 
1854,  against  the  admission  of  any  more  Slave  States 
into  the  Union,  even  if  the  people  want  them.  I  want 
to  know  whether  he  stands  pledged  against  the  admis- 
sion of  a  new  State  into  the  Union  with  such  a  Consti- 
tution as  the  people  of  that  State  may  see  fit  to  make. 
I  want  to  know  whether  he  stands  to-day  pledged  to  the 
abolition  of  slavery  in  the  District  of  Columbia.  I  de- 
sire him  to  answer  whether  he  stands  pledged  to  the 
prohibition  of  the  slave  trade  between  the  different 
States.  I  desire  to  know  whether  he  stands  pledged  to 
prohibit  slavery  in  all  the  Territories  of  the  United 
States,  north  as  well  as  south  of  the  Missouri  Com- 
promise line.  I  desire  him  to  answer  whether  he  is 
opposed  to  the  acquisition  of  any  more  territory,  un- 
less slavery  is  prohibited  therein.  .  .  . 

I  ask  Abraham  Lincoln  to  answer  these  questions,  in 
order  that,  when  I  trot  him  down  to  lower  Egypt, ^  I 
may  put  the  same  questions  to  him....  In  the  re- 
marks I  have  made  on  this  platform,  and  the  position 
of  Mr.  Lincoln  upon  it,  I  mean  nothing  personally 
disrespectful  or  unkind  to  that  gentleman.  I  have 
known  him  for  nearly  twenty-five  years.  There  were 
many  points  of  sympathy  between  us  when  we  first  got 
acquainted.     We  were  both  comparatively  boys,  and 

1.  The  lower  part  of  Illinois  was  known  as  "Egypt."    Some  say  it  was'  so 
called  because  the  people  lived  in  darkness. 


both  struggling  with  poverty  in  a  strange  land.  1  was 
a  school-teacher  in  the  town  of  "Winchester,  and  he  a 
flourishing  grocery  keeper  in  the  town  of  Salem.  He 
was  more  successful  in  his  occupation  than  I  was  in 
mine,  and  hence  more  fortunate  in  this  world's  goods. 
Lincoln  is  one  of  those  peculiar  men  who  perform  with 
admirable  skill  everything  which  they  undertake.  I 
made  as  good  a  school-teacher  as  1  could,  and  when  a 
cabinet-maker  I  made  a  good  bedstead  and  tables,  al- 
though my  old  boss  said  I  succeeded  better  with  bu- 
reaus and  secretaries  than  with  anything  else;  but  I 
believe  that  Lincoln  was  always  more  successful'  in 
business  than  I,  for  his  business  enabled  him  to  get 
into  the  Legislature.  I  met  him  there,  however,,  and 
had  a  sympathy  with  him,  because  of  the  up-hill  strug- 
gle we  both  had  in  life.  He  was  then  just  as  good  at 
telling  an  anecdote  as  now.  He  could  beat  any  of  the 
boys  wrestling,  or  running  a  foot-race,  in  pitching 
quoits  or  tossing  a  copper;  could  ruin  more  liquor 
than  all  of  the  boys  of  the  town  together;  and  the  dig- 
nity and  impartiality  with  which  he  presided  at  a 
horse-race  or  fist-fight  excited  the  admiration  and  won 
the  praise  of  everybody  that  was  present  and  partici- 
pated. I  sympathized  with  him  because  he  was  strug- 
gling with  difficulties,  and  so  was  L  .  .  . 

Having  formed  this  new  party  for  the  oenefit  of  de- 
serters from  Whiggery,  and  deserters  from  Democracy, 
and  having  laid  down  the  Abolition  platform  which  I 
have  read,  Lincoln  now  takes  his  stand  and  proclaims 
his  Abolition  doctrines.  Let  me  read  a  part  of  them. 
In  his  speech  at  Springfield  to  the  Convention  which 
nominated  him  for  the  Senate,  he  said: — 


*'In  my  opinion  it  will  not  cease  until  a  crisis  shall 
have  been  reached  and  passed.   'A  house  divided  against 
itself  cannot  stand.'     I  believe  this  government  can- 
not endure  permanently  half  slave  and  half  free.     I  do 
not  expect  the  Union  to  be  dissolved,— I  do  not  expect 
the  house  to  fall;  but  I  do  expect  it  will  cease  to  be 
divided.     It  will  become  all  one  thing,  or  all  the  other. 
Either  the  opponents  of  slavery  will  arrest  the  further 
spread  of  it,  and  place  it  where  the  public  mind  shall 
rest  in  the  belief  that  it  is  in  the  course  of  ultimate 
extinction,  or  its  advocates  will  push  it  forward  till  it 
shall  become  alike  lawful   in  all  the  States,— old   as 
well  as  new,  North  as  well  as  South." 
["Good,"  "Good,"  and  cheers.] 
I  am  delighted  to  hear  you  Black  Republicans  say 
"good."    I  have  no  doubt  that  doctrine  expresses  your 
sentiments,  and  I  will  prove  to  you  now,  if  you  will 
listen  to  me,  that  it  is  revolutionary  and  destructive 

of  the  existence  of  this  Government 1  assert  that 

uniformity  in  the  local  laws  and  institutions  of  the  dif- 
ferent States  is  neither  possible  nor  desirable.  If  uni- 
formity had  been  adopted  when  the  Government  was 
established,  it  must  inevitably  have  been  the  uniformity 
of  slavery  everywhere,  or  else  the  uniformity  of  negro 
citizenship  and  negro  equality  everywhere. 

We  are  told  by  Lincoln  that  he  is  utterly  opposed  to 
the  Dred  Scott  decision,  or  will  not  submit  to  it,  for 
the  reason  that  he  says  it  deprives  the  negro  of  the 
rights  and  privileges  of  citizenship.  That  is  the  first 
and  main  reason  which  he  assigns  for  his  warfare  on 
the  Supreme  Court  of  the  United  States  and  its  de- 
cision.   I  ask  you,  are  you  in  favor  of  conferring  upon 


the  negro  the  rights  and  privileges  of  citizenship?  Do 
you  desire  to  strike  out  of  our  State  Constitution  that 
clause  which  keeps  slaves  and  free  negroes  out  of  the 
State,  and  allow  the  free  negroes  to  flow  in,  and  cover 
your  prairies  with  black  settlements?  Do  you  desire 
to  turn  this  beautiful  State  into  a  free  negro  colony, 
in  order  that  when  Missouri  abolishes  slavery  she  can 
send  one  hundred  thousand  emancipated  slaves  into 
Illinois,  to  become  citizens  and  voters,  on  an  equality 
with  yourselves?  If  you  desire  negro  citizenship,  if 
you  desire  to  allow  them  to  come  into  the  State  and 
settle  with  the  white  man,  if  you  desire  them  to  vote 
on  an  equality  with  yourselves,  and  to  make  them  eligi- 
ble to  office,  to  serve  on  juries,  and  to  adjudge  your 
rights,  then  support  Mr.  Lincoln  and  the  Black  Repub- 
lican party,  who  are  in  favor  of  the  citizenship  of  the 
negro.  For  one,  I  am  opposed  to  negro  citizenship  in 
any  and  every  form.  I  believe  this  Government  was 
made  on  the  white  basis.  I  believe  it  was  made  by 
white  men,  for  the  benefit  of  white  men  and  their  pos- 
terity forever,  and  I  am  in  favor  of  confining  citizen- 
ship to  white  men,  men  of  European  birth  and  descent, 
instead  of  conferring  it  upon  negroes,  Indians,  and 
other  inferior  races.  .  .  . 

The  question  then  arises.  What  rights  and  privileges 
are  consistent  with  the  public  good?  This  is  a  ques- 
tion which  each  State  and  each  Territory  must  decide 
for  itself;  Illinois  has  decided  it  for  herself.  We  have 
provided  that  the  negro  shall  not  be  a  slave,  and  we 
have  also  provided  that  he  shall  not  be  a  citizen,  but 
protect  him  in  his  civil  rights,  in  his  life,  his  person, 
and  his  property,  only  depriving  him  of  all  political 


rights  whatsoever,  and  refusing  to  put  him  on  an 
equality  with  the  white  man. . .  .  But  the  Republi- 
cans say  that  he  ought  to  be  made  a  citizen,  and  when 
he  becomes  a  citizen  he  becomes  your  equal,  with  all 
your  rights  and  privileges.  They  assert  the  Dred  Scott 
decision  to  be  monstrous,  because  it  denies  that  the 
negro  is  or  can  be  a  citizen  under  the  Constitution.  . . . 
Our  fathers  intended  that  our  Constitutions  should 
differ.  They  knew  that  the  North  and  the  South, 
having  different  climates,  productions,  and  interests, 
required  different  institutions.  This  doctrine  of  Mr. 
Lincoln,  of  uniformity  among  the  institutions  of  the 
different  States,  is  a  new  doctrine,  never  dreamed  of 
by  Washington,  Madison,  or  the  framers  of  this  Gov- 
ernment. Mr.  Lincoln  and  the  Republican  party  set 
themselves  up  as  wiser  than  these  men  who  made  this 
Government,  which  has  flourished  for  seventy  years 
under  the  principle  of  popular  sovereignty,  recognizing 
the  right  of  each  State  to  do  as  it  pleased ....  I  be- 
lieve that  this  new  doctrine  preached  by  Mr.  Lincoln 
and  his  party  will  dissolve  the  Union  if  it  succeeds. 
They  are  trying  to  array  all  the  Northern  States  in  one 
body  against  the  South,  to  excite  a  sectional  war  be- 
tween the  Free  States  and  the  Slave  States,  in  order 
that  the  one  or  the  other  may  be  driven  to  the  wall. 


My  Fellow  Citizens  :  When  a  man  hears  himself  some- 
what misrepresented,  it  provokes  him, — at  least,  I  find 
it  so  with  myself;  but  when  misrepresentation  becomes 
very  gross  and  palpable,  it  is  more  apt  to  amuse  him. 


The  first  thing  I  see  lit  to  notice  is  the  fact  that  Judge 
Douglas  alleges,  after  running  through  the  history  of 
the  old  Democratic  and  the  old  Whig  parties,  that  Judge 
Trumbull  and  myself  made  an  arrangement  in  1854,  by 
which  I  was  to  have  the  place  of  General  Shields^  in  the 
United  States  Senate,  and  Judge  Trumbull  was  to  have 
the  place  of  Judge  Douglas.  Now,  all  I  have  to  say 
upon,  that  subject  is,  that  I  think  no  man — not  even 
Judge  Douglas — can  prove  it,  because  it  is  not  true. 
I  have  no  doubt  he  is  * 'conscientious"  in  saying  it. 
As  to  those  resolutions  that  he  took  such  a  length  of 
time  to  read,  as  being  the  platform  of  the  Republican 
party  in  1854,  I  say  I  never  had  anything  to  do  with 
them,  and  I  think  Trumbull  never  had.  Judge  Douglas 
cannot  show  that  either  of  us  ever  did  have  anything 
to  do  with  them.  ..." 

Now,  gentlemen,  I  hate  to  waste  my  time  on  such 
things;  but  in  regard  to  that  general  Abolition  tilt  that 
Judge  Douglas  makes,  when  he  says  that  I  was  engaged 
at  that  time  in  selling  out  and  Abolitionizing  the  old 
Whig  party,  I  hope  you  will  permit  me  to  read  a  part 
of  a  printed  speech  that  I  made  then  at  Peoria,  which 
will  show  altogether  a  different  view  of  the  position  I 
took  in  that  contest  of  1854. 

['Tut  on  your  specs."] 

Yes,  sir,  I  am  obliged  to  do  so;  I  am  no  longer  a 
young  man. . . . 

When  Southern  people  tell  us  they  are  no  more  responsible 

1.  Gen.  James  Shields  was  U.  S.  Senator  from  Illinois,  1848-1854, 

2.  Lincoln  next  explained  that  he  was  not  in  the  Convention  in  1854  which 
adopted  these  resolutions,  although  his  name  was  signed  as  one  of  the  com- 
mittee, without  consent.  At  the  time  he  was  attending  court  in  Tazewell 
County  and  was  not  even  in  Springfield  where  the  Convention  was  held. 


for  the  origin  of  slavery  than  we,  I  acknowledge  the  fact. 
When  it  is  said  that  the  institution  exists,  and  that  it  is 
very  difficult  to  get  rid  of  it,  in  any  satisfactory  way,  I  can 
understand  and  appreciate  the  saying.  I  surely  will  not 
blame  them  for  not  doing  what  I  should  not  know  how 
to  do  myself.  If  all  earthly  power  were  given  me,  I  should 
not  know  what  to  do,  as  to  the  existing  institution.  My 
first  impulse  would  be  to  free  all  the  slaves,  and  send  them 
to  Liberia — to  their  own  native  land.  But  a  moment's  re- 
flection would  convince  me  that  whatever  of  high  hope  (as 
I  think  there  is)  there  may  be  in  this,  in  the  long  run,  its 
sudden  execution  is  impossible.  If  they  were  all  landed 
there  in  a  day  they  would  all  perish  in  the  next  ten  days; 
and  there  are  not  surplus  shipping  and  surplus  money 
enough  in  the  world  to  carry  them  there  in  many  times  ten 
days.  What  then?  Free  them  all,  and  keep  them  among 
us  as  underlings?  Is  it  quite  certain  that  this  betters  their 
condition?  1  think  I  would  not  hold  one  in  slavery,  at  any 
rate;  yet  the  point  is  not  clear  enough  to  me  to  denounce 
people  upon.  What  next?  Free  them,  and  make  them  po- 
litically and  socially  our  equals?  My  own  feelings  will  not 
admit  of  this;  and  if  mine  would,  we  well  know  that  those 
of  the  great  mass  of  white  people  will  not.  Whether  this 
feeling  accords  with  justice  and  sound  judgment,  is  not  the 
sole  question,  if  indeed,  it  is  any  part  of  it.  A  universal 
feeling,  whether  well  or  ill-founded,  cannot  be  safely  dis- 
regarded. We  cannot,  then,  make  them  equals.  It  does 
seem  to  me  that  systems  of  gradual  emancipation  might  be 
adopted;  but  for  their  tardiness  in  this,  I  will  not  undertake 

to  judge  our  brethren  of  the  South 

But  all  this,  to  my  judgment,  furnishes  no  more  excuse 
for  permitting  slavery  to  go  into  our  own  free  territory  than 
it  would  for  reviving  the  African  slave  trade  by  law.  The 
law  which  forbids  the  bringing  of  slaves  from  Africa,  and 
that  which  has  so  long  forbid  the  taking  of  them  to  Ne- 
braska, can  hardly  be  distinguished  on  any  moral  principle; 
and  the  repeal  of  the  former  could  find  quite  as  plausible 
excuses  as  that  of  the  latter. 


I  have  reason  to  know  that  Judge  Douglas  knows  that 
I  said  this.  I  think  he  has  the  answer  here  to  one  of 
the  questions  he  put  to  me.  I  do  not  mean  to  allow 
him  to  catechise  me  unless  he  pays  back  for  it  in  kind. 
I  will  not  answer  questions  one  after  another,  unless  he 
reciprocates;  but  as  he  has  made  this  inquiry,  and  I 
have  answered  it  before,  he  has  got  it  without  my  get- 
ting anything  in  return.  He  has  got  my  answer  on  the 
Fugitive  Slave  law. 

Now,  gentlemen,  I  don't  want  to  read  at  any  greater 
length;  but  this  is  the  true  complexion  of  all  I  have 
ever  said  in  regard  to  the  institution  of  slavery  and  the 
black  race.  This  is  the  whole  of  it;  and  anything  that 
argues  me  into  his  idea  of  perfect  social  and  political 
equality  with  the  negro  is  but  a  specious  and  fantastic 
arrangement  of  words,  by  which  a  man  can  prove  a 
horse-chestnut  to  be  a  chestnut  horse.  I  will  say  here, 
while  upon  this- subject,  that  I  have  no  purpose,  directly 
or  indirectly,  to  interfere  with  the  institution  of  slav- 
ery in  the  States  where  it  exists.  I  believe  I  have  no 
lawful  right  to  do  so,  and  I  have  no  inclination  to  do  so. 
I  have  no  purpose  to  introduce  political  and  social  equal- 
ity between  the  white  and  the  black  races.  There  is  a 
physical  difference  between  the  two  which,  in  my  judg- 
ment, will  probably  forever  forbid  their  living  together 
upon  the  footing  of  perfect  equality;  and  inasmuch 
as  it  becomes  a  necessity  there  must  be  a  difference,  I, 
as  well  as  Judge  Douglas,  am  in  favor  of  the  race  to 
which  I  belong  having  the  superior  position.  I  have 
never  said  anything  to  the  contrary,  but  I  hold  that, 
notwithstanding  all  this,  there  is  no  reason  in  the  world 
why  the  negro  is  not  entitled  to  all  the  natural  rights 


enumerated  in  the  Declaration  of  Independence, — the 
right  to  life,  liberty,  and  the  pursuit  of  happiness.  I 
hold  that  he  is  as  much  entitled  to  these  as  the  white 
man.  I  agree  with  Judge  Douglas  he  is  not  my  equal 
in  many  respects, — certainly  not  in  color,  perhaps  not 
in  moral  or  intellectual  endowment.  But  in  the  right  to 
eat  the  bread,  without  the  leave  of  anybody  else,  which 
his  own  hand  earns,  he  is  my  equal,  and  the  equal  of 
Judge  Douglas,  and  the  equal  of  every  living  man 

What  is  Popular  Sovereignty?^  Is  it  the  right  of  the 
people  to  have  slavery  or  not  have  it,  as  they  see  fit, 
in  the  Territories?  I  will  state — and  I  have  an  able 
man  to  watch  me — my  understanding  is  that  Popular 
Sovereignty,  as  now  applied  to  the  question  of  slavery, 
does  allow  the  people  of  a  Territory  to  have  slavery  if 
they  want  to,  but  does  not  allow  them  not  to  have  it 
if  they  do  not  want  it.  I  do  not  mean  that  if  this  vast 
concourse  of  people  were  in  a  Territory  of  the  United 
States,  any  one  of  them  would  be  obliged  to  have  a 
slave  if  he  did  not  want  one;  but  I  do  say  that,  as  I 
understand  the  Dred  Scott  decision,  if  any  one  man 
wants  slaves,  all  the  rest  have  no  way  of  keeping  that 
one  man  from  holding  them.  .  .  . 

Can  it  be  true  that  placing  this  institution  upon  the 
original  basis — the  basis  upon  which  our  fathers  placed 
it — can  have  any  tendency  to  set  the  Northern  and  the 
Southern  States  at  war  with  one  another,  or  that  it  can 
have  any  tendency  to  make  the  people  of  Vermont  raise 
sugar-cane,  because  they  raise  it  in  Louisiana,  or  that 

1.  The  theory  that  the  citizens  of  a  territory  should  decide  at  the  time  of 
forming  a  state  constitution  whether  they  would  be  free  or  slave  was  known 
as  "popular  sovereignty,"  or  "squatter  sovereignty";  that  is,  home  rule  for 
the  settlers. 


it  can  compel  the  people  of  Illinois  to  cut  pine  logs  on 
the  Grand  Prairie/  where  they  will  not  grow,  because 
they  cut  pine  logs  in  Maine,  where  they  do  grow? .... 

Henry  Clay,^  my  beau  ideal  of  a  statesman,  the  man 
for  whom  I  fought  all  my  humble  life, — Henry  Clay 
once  said  of  a  class  of  men  who  would  repress  all  ten- 
dencies to  liberty  and  ultimate  emancipation,  that  they 
must,  if  they  would  do  this,  go  back  to  the  era  of  our 
Independence,  and  muzzle  the  cannon  which  thunders 
its  annual  joyous  return;  they  must  blow  out  the  moral 
lights  around  us;  they  must  penetrate  the  human  soul, 
and  eradicate  there  the  love  of  liberty;  and  then,  and 
not  till  then,  could  they  perpetuate  slavery  in  this  coun- 
try! To  my  thinking.  Judge  Douglas  is,  by  his  ex- 
ample and  vast  influence,  doing  that  very  thing  in  this 
community,  when  he  says  that  the'negro  has  nothing  in 
the  Declaration  of  Independence.  Henry  Clay  plainly 
understood  the  contrary.  Judge  Douglas  is  going  back 
to  the  era  of  our  Revolution,  and,  to  the  extent  of  his 
ability,  muzzling  the  cannon  which  thunders  its  an- 
nual joyous  return.  When  he  invites  any  people,  will- 
ing to  have  slavery,  to  establish  it,  he  is  blowing  out 
the  moral  lights  around  us.  When  he  says  he  **cares 
not  whether  slavery  is  voted  down  or  voted  up," — 
that  it  is  a  sacred  right  of  self-government — he  is,  in 
my  judgment,  penetrating  the  human  soul  and  eradi- 
cating the  light  of  reason  and  the  love  of  liberty  in  this 
American  people.     And  now  I  will  only  say  that  when, 

1.  A  large  prairie  tract  in  central  Illinois  was  known  as  the  "Grand  Prairie." 

2.  Henry  Clay,  of  Kentucky,  (1777-1852)  advocated  a  protective  tariff,  a  free 
interpretation  of  the  Constitution,  and  development  of  means  of  internal 
transportation.  These  were  Whig  principles,  and  he  was  the  idol  of  the  party. 


by  all  these  means  and  appliances,  Judge  Douglas  shall 
succeed  in  bringing  public  sentiment  to  an  exact  ac- 
cordance with  his  own  views;  when  these  vast  assem- 
blages shall  echo  back  all  these  sentiments;  when  they 
shall  come  to  repeat  his  views,  and  to  avow  his  prin- 
ciples, and  to  say  all  that  he  says  on  these  mighty  ques- 
tions,— then  it  needs  only  the  formality  of  the  second 
Dred  Scott  decision,  which  he  indorses  in  advance,  to 
make  slavery  alike  lawful  in  all  the  States — old  as  well 
as  new,  North  as  well  as  South. 

My  friends,  that  ends  the  chapter.     The  judge  can 
take  his  half -hour. 


Fellow  Citizens :  I  will  now  occupy  the  half-hour  al- 
lotted to  me  in  replying  to  Mr.  Lincoln.  .  .  . 

This  denial^  of  his  that  he  did  not  act  on  the  commit- 
tee, is  a  miserable  quibble  to  avoid  the  main  issue, 
which  is,  that  this  Republican  platform  declares  in 
favor  of  the  unconditional  repeal  of  the  Fugitive  Slave 
law.  Has  Lincoln  answered  whether  he  indorsed  that 
or  not?  I  called  his  attention  to  it  when  I  first  ad- 
dressed you,  and  asked  him  for  an  answer,  and  I  then 
predicted  that  he  would  not  answer.  How  does  he 
answer?  Why,  that  he  was  not  on  the  committee  that 
wrote  the  resolutions.  I  then  repeated  the  next  prop- 
osition contained  in  the  resolutions,  which  was  to  re- 
strict slavery  in  those  States  in  which  it  exists,  and 
asked  him   whether  he   indorsed   it.     Does  he  answer 

1.  Referring  to  the  denial  made  by  Lincoln  that  he  was  in  the  Springfield 
"Abolition"  convention  of  1854. 


yes,  or  no?  He  says  in  reply,  "I  was  not  on  the  com- 
mittee at  the  time;  I  was  up  in  Tazewell." 

The  next  question  I  put  to  him  was,  whether  he  was 
in  favor  of  prohibiting  the  admission  of  any  more  Slave 
States  into  the  Union.  I  put  the  question  to  him  dis- 
tinctly, whether,  if  the  people  of  the  Territory,  when 
they  had  sufficient  population  to  make  a  State,  should 
form  their  Constitution  recognizing  slavery,  he  would 
vote  for  or  against  its  admission.  He  is  a  candidate 
for  the  United  States  Senate,  and  it  is  possible,  if  he 
should  be  elected,  that  he  would  have  to  vote  directly 
on  that  question.  I  asked  him  to  answer  me  and  you, 
whether  he  would  vote  to  admit  a  State  into  the  Union, 
with  slavery  or  without  it,  as  its  own  people  might 
choose.  He  did  not  answer  that  question.  He  dodges 
that  question  also,  under  the  cover  that  he  was  not  on 
the  Committee  at  the  time;  that  he  was  not  present 
when  the  platform  was  made.  I  want  to  know  if  he 
should  happen  to  be  in  the  Senate  when  a  State  applied 
for  admission,  with  a  Constitution  acceptable  to  her 
own  people,  would  he  vote  to  admit  that  State,  if  slav- 
ery was  one  of  its  institutions.    He  avoids  the  answer. 

It  is  true  he  gives  the  Abolitionists  to  understand  by 
a  hint  that  he  would  not  vote  to  admit  such  a  State. 
And  why?  He  goes  on  to  say  that  the  man  who  would 
talk  about  giving  each  State  the  right  to  have  slavery 
or  not,  as  it  pleased,  was  akin  to  the  man  who  would 
muzzle  the  guns  which  thundered  forth  the  annual  joyous 
return  of  the  day  of  our  Independence.  He  says  that 
that  kind  of  talk  is  casting  a  blight  on  the  glory  of  this 
country.  What  is  the  meaning  of  that?  That  he  is 
not  in  favor  of  each  State  to  have  the  right  of  doing 


as  it  pleases  on  the  slavery  question?  I  will  put  the 
question  to  him  again  and  again,  and  I  intend  to  force 
it  out  of  him. . . . 

Now  you  see  that  upon  these  very  points  I  am  as  far 
from  bringing  Mr.  Lincoln  up  to  the  line  as  I  ever  was 
before.  He  does  not  want  to  avow  his  principles.  I 
do  want  to  avow  mine,  as  clear  as  sunlight  in  midday. 
Democracy  is  founded  upon  the  eternal  principles  of 
right.  The  plainer  these  principles  are  avowed  before 
the  people,  the  stronger  will  be  the  support  which  they 
will  receive.  I  only  wish  I  had  the  power  to  make 
them  so  clear  that  they  would  shine  in  the  heavens  for 
every  man,  woman,  and  child  to  read.  The  first  of 
these  principles  that  I  would  proclaim  would  be  in  op- 
position to  Mr.  Lincoln's  doctrine  of  uniformity  be- 
tween the  different  States,  and  I  would  declare  instead 
the  sovereign  right  of  each  State  to  decide  the  slavery 
question  as  well  as  all  other  domestic  questions  for 
themselves,  without  interference  from  any  other  State 
or  power  whatsoever. 

When  that  principle  is  recognized,  you  will  have 
peace  and  harmony  and  fraternal  feeling  between  all 
the  States  of  this  Union;  until  you  do  recognize  that 
doctrine,  there  will  be  sectional  warfare  agitating  and 
distracting  the  country.  What  does  Mr.  Lincoln  pro- 
pose? He  says  that  the  Union  cannot  exist  divided 
into  Free  and  Slave  States.  If  it  cannot  endure  thus 
divided,  then  he  must  strive  to  make  them  all  Free  or 
all  Slave,  which  will  inevitably  bring  about  a  dissolu- 
tion of  the  Union. 

Gentlemen,  I  am  told  that  my  time  is  out,  and  I  am 
obliged  to  stop. 

Senator  Stephen  A.  Douglas 



Freeport,  August  27,  1858 


Ladies  and  Gentlemen:  On  Saturday  last,  Judge 
Douglas  and  myself  first  met  in  public  discussion.  He 
spoke  one  hour,  I  an  hour  and  a  half,  and  he  replied 
for  half  an  hour.  The  order  is  now  reversed.  I  am 
to  speak  an  hour,  he  an  hour  and  a  half,  and  then  I  am 
to  reply  for  half  an  hour.  I  propose  to  devote  myself 
during  the  first  hour  to  the  scope  of  what  \vas  brought 
within  the  range  of  his  half-hour  speech  at  Ottawa.  .  .  . 

I  will  take  up  the  Judge's  interrogatories  as  I  find 
them  printed  in  the  Chicago  Times,  and  answer  them 
seriatim.  In  order  that  there  may  be  no  mistake 
about  it,  I  have  copied  the  interrogatories  in  writing, 
and  also  my  answers  to  them .... 

As  to  the  first  one,  in  regard  to  the  Fugitive  Slave 
law,  I  have  never  hesitated  to  say,  and  I  do  not  now 
hesitate  to  say,  that  I  think,  under  the  Constitution  of 
the  United  States,  the  people  of  the  Southern  States 
are  entitled  to  a.  Congressional  Fugitive  Slave  Law. 
Having  said  that,  I  have  had  nothing  to  say  in  regard 
to  the  existing  Fugitive  Slave  Law,  further  than  that  I 
think  it  should  have  been  framed  so  as  to  be  free  from 
some  of  the  objections  that  pertain  to  it,  without  les- 
sening its  efficiency.    And  inasmuch  as  we  are  not  now 


in  an  agitation  in  regard  to  an  alteration  or  modifica- 
tion of  that  law,  I  would  not  be  the  man  to  introduce 
it  as  a  new  subject  of  agitation  upon  the  general  ques- 
tion of  slavery. 

In  regard  to  the  other  question,  of  whether  I  am 
pledged  to  the  admission  of  any  more  Slave  States  into 
the  Union,  I  state  to  you  very  frankly  that  1  would  be 
exceedingly  sorry  ever  to  be  put  in  a  position  of  hav- 
ing to  pass  upon  that  question.  1  should  be  exceed- 
ingly glad  to  know  that  there  would  never  be  another 
Slave  State  admitted  into  the  Union;  but  1  must  add, 
that  if  slavery  shall  be  kept  out  of  the  Territories  dur- 
ing the  territorial  existence  of  any  one  given  Territory, 
and  then  the  people  shall,  having  a  fair  chance  and  a 
clear  field,  when  they  come  to  adopt  the  constitution, 
do  such  an  .extraordinary  thing  as  to  adopt  a  slave  con- 
stitution, uninfluenced  by  the  actual  presence  of  the 
institution  among  them,  I  see  no  alternative,  if  we  own 
the  country,  but  to  admit  them  into  the  Union. 

The  third  interrogatory  is  answered  by  the  answer 
to  the  second,  it  being,  as  I  conceive,  the  same  as  the 

The  fourth  one  is  in  regard  to  the  abolition  of  slav- 
ery in  the  District  of  Columbia.  In  relation  to  that, 
I  have  my  mind  very  distinctly  made  up.  I  should  be 
exceedingly  glad  to  see  slavery  abolished  in  the  Dis- 
trict of  Columbia.  I  believe  that  Congress  possesses 
the  constitutional  power  to  abolish  it.  Yet  as  a  mem- 
ber of  Congress,  I  should  not,  with  my  present  views, 
be  in  favor  of  endeavoring  to  abolish  slavery  in  the 
District  of  Columbia,  unless  it  would  be  upon  these 
conditions:  first,  that  the  abolition  should  be  gradual; 


second,  that  it  should  be  on  a  vote  of  the  majority  of 
qualified  voters  in  the  District;  and  third,  that  compen- 
sation should  be  made  to  unwilling  owners.  With  these 
three  conditions,  I  confess  I  would  be  exceedingly  glad 
to  see  Congress  abolish  slavery  in  the  District  of  Col- 
umbia, and,  in  the  language  of  Henry  Clay,  "sweep 
from  our  Capitol  that  foul  blot  upon  our  nation/' 

In  regard  to  the  fifth  interrogatory,  I  must  say  here, 
that  as  to  the  question  of  the  abolition  of  the  slave 
trade  between  the  different  States,  I  can  truly  answer, 
as  I  have,  that  I  am  pledged  to  nothing  about  it.  It 
is  a  subject  to  which  I  have  not  given  that  mature  con- 
sideration that  would  make  me  feel  authorized  to  state 
a  position  so  as  to  hold  myself  entirely  bound  by  it. 
In  other  words,  that  question  has  never  beei;i  promi- 
nently enough  before  me  to  induce  me  to  investigate 
whether  we  really  have  the  constitutional  power  to  do 
it.  I  could  investigate  it  if  I  had  sufficient  time  to 
bring  myself  to  a  conclusion  upon  that  subject;  but  I 
have  not  done  so,  and  I  say  so  frankly  to  you  here,  and 
to  Judge  Douglas.  I  must  say,  however,  that  if  I 
should  be  of  opinion  that  Congress  does  possess  the 
constitutional  power  to  abolish  the  slave  trade  among 
the  different  States,  I  should  still  not  be  in  favor  of 
the  exercise  of  that  power  unless  upon  some  conserva- 
tive principle,  as  I  conceive  it,  akin  to  what  I  have  said 
in  relation  to  the  abolition  of  slavery  in  the  District 
of  Columbia. 

My  answer  as  to  whether  I  desire  that  slavery  should 
be  prohibited  in  all  the  Territories  of  the  United  States, 
is  full  and  explicit  within  itself,  and  cannot  be  made 
clearer  by  any  comments  of  mine.     So  I  suppose  in  re- 


gard  to  the  question  whether  I  am  opposed  to  the  ac- 
quisition of  any  more  territory  unless  slavery  is  first 
prohibited  therein,  my  answer  is  such  that  I  could  add 
nothing  by  way  of  illustration,  or  making  myself  better 
understood,  than  the  answer  which  I  have  placed  in 
writing.  . . . 

I  now  proceed  to  propound  to  the  Judge  the  interrog- 
atories, so  far  as  I  have  framed  them.  I  will  bring  for- 
ward a  new  installment  when  I  get  them  ready.  1  will 
bring  them  forward  now  only  reaching  to  number  four. 

The  first  one  is: — 

Question  1. — If  the  people  of  Kansas  shall,  by  means 
entirely  unobjectionable  in  all  other  respects,  adopt  a 
^ate  Constitution,  and  ask  admission  into  the  Union 
under  it,  before  they  have  the  requisite  number  of  in- 
habitants according  to  the  English  bill, — some  ninety- 
three  thousand, — will  you  vote  to  admit  them? 

Question  2.  Can  the  people  of  a  United  States  Ter- 
ritory, in  any  lawful  way,  against  the  wish  of  any  citi- 
zen of  the  United  States,  exclude  slavery  from  its  limits 
prior  to  the  formation  of  a  State  Constitution?^ 

Question  3.  If  the  Supreme  Court  of  the  United 
States  shall  decide  that  States  cannot  exclude  slavery 
from  their  limits,  are  you  in  favor  of  acquiescing  in, 
adopting,  and  following  such  decision  as  a  rule  of  polit- 
ical action? 

Question  4.  Are  you  in  favor  of  acquiring  addi- 
tional territory,  in  disregard  of  how  such  acquisition 
may  affect  the  nation  on  the  slavery  question? .... 

Go  on,  Judge  Douglas. . 

13.  This  is    thought  to  be  the   most  important  of  all  questions  put  to 
Douirlas  by  Lincoln. 



Ladies  and  Gentlemen:  The  silence  with  which  you 
have  listened  to  Mr.  Lincoln  during  his  hour  is  credit- 
able to  this  vast  audience,  composed  of  men  of  various 
political  parties.  Nothing  is  more  honorable  to  any 
large  mass  of  people  assembled  for  the  purpose  of  a 
fair  discussion,  than  that  kind  and  respectful  attention 
that  is  yielded  not  only  to  your  political  friends,  but  to 
those  who  are  opposed  to  you  in  politics. 

I  am  glad  that  at  last  I  have  brought  Mr.  Lincoln  to 
the  conclusion  that  he  had  better  define  his  position  on 
certain  political  questions  to  which  I  called  his  atten- 
tion at  Ottawa.  He  there  showed  no  disposition,  no 
inclination,  to  answer  them.  I  did  not  present  idle 
questions  for  him  to  answer  merely  for  my  gratifica- 
tion. I  laid  the  foundation  for  those  interrogatories 
by  showing  that  they  constituted  the  platform  of  the 
party  whose  nominee  he  is  for  the  Senate.  I  did  not 
presume  that  I  had  the  right  to  catechise  him  as  I  saw 
proper,  unless  I  showed  that  his  party,  or  a  majority 
of  it,  stood  upon  the  platform  and  were  in  favor  of  the 
propositions  upon  which  my  questions  were  based.  I 
desired  simply  to  know,  inasmuch  as  he  had  been  nom- 
inated as  the  first,  last,  and  only  choice  of  his  party, 
whether  he  concurred  in  the  platform  which  that  party 
had  adopted  for  its  government.  In  a  few  moments  1 
will  proceed  to  review  the  answers  which  he  has  given 
to  these  interrogatories;  but,  in  order  to  relieve  his 
anxiety,  I  will  first  respond  to  these  which  he  has  pre- 
sented to  me.  Mark  you,  he  has  not  presented  inter- 
rogatories which  have  ever  received  the  sanction  of  the 
party  with  which  I  am  acting,  and  hence  he  has  no 


other  foundation  for  them  than  his  own  curiosity. 
First,  he  desires  to  know,  if  the  people  of  Kansas 
shall  form  a  constitution  by  means  entirely  proper  and 
unobjectionable,  and  ask  admission  into  the  Union  as 
a  State,  before  they  have  the  requisite  population  for 
a  member  of  Congress,  whether  I  will  vote  for  that  ad- 
mission. I  will  answer  his  question.  In  reference  to 
Kansas,  it  is  my  opinion  that  as  she  has  population 
enough  to  constitute  a  Slave  State,  she  has  people 
enough  for  a  Free  State.  I  will  not  make  Kansas  an 
exceptional  case  to  the  other  States  of  the  Union.  I 
hold  it  to  be  a  sound  rule,  of  universal  application,  to 
require  a  Territory  to  contain  the  requisite  popula- 
tion. ...  On  another  occasion  I  proposed  that  neither 
Kansas  nor  any  other  Territory  should  be  admitted  un- 
til it  had  the  requisite  population.  Congress  did  not 
adopt  any  of  my  propositions  containing  this  general 
rule,  but  did  make  an  exception  of  Kansas.  I  will 
stand  by  that  exception.  Either  Kansas  must  come  in 
as  a  Free  State,  with  whatever  population  she  may 
have,  or  the  rule  must  be  applied  to  all  the  other  Ter- 
ritories alike.  I  therefore  answer  at  once,  that,  it  hav- 
ing been  decided  that  Kansas  has  people  enough  for  a 
Slave  State,  I  hold  that  she  has  enough  for  a  Free  State. 
I  hope  Mr.  Lincoln  is  satisfied  with  my  answer;  and 
now  I  would  like  to  get  his  answer  to  his  own  interrog- 
atory,— whether  or  not  he  will  vote  to  admit  Kansas 
befoie  she  has  the  requisite  population.  I  want  to 
know  whether  he  will  vote  to  admit  Oregon  before  that 
Territory  has  the  requisite  population.  I  would  like 
Mr.  Lincoln  to  answer  this  question.  1  would  like  him 
to  take  his  own  medicine. 


The  next  question  propounded  to  me  by  Mr.  Lincoln 
is,  Can  the  people  of  a  Territory,  in  any  lawful  way, 
against  the  wishes  of  any  citizen  of  the  United  States, 
exclude  slavery  from  their  limits  prior  to  the  forma- 
tion of  a  State  Constitution?  I  answer  emphatically, 
as  Mr.  Lincoln  has  heard  me  answer  a  hundred  times 
from  every  stump  in  Illinois,  that  in  my  opinion  the 
people  of  a  Territory  can,  by  lawful  means,  exclude 
slavery  from  their  limits  prior  to  the  formation  of  a 
State  Constitution^ ....  It  matters  not  what  way  the 
Supreme  Court  may  hereafter  decide  as  to  the  ab- 
stract question  whether  slavery  may  or  may  not  go  into 
a  Territory  under  the  Constitution,  the  people  have  the 
lawful  means  to  introduce  it  or  exclude  it  as  they 
please,  for  the  reason  that  slavery  cannot  exist  a  day 
or  an  hour  anywhere,  unless  it  is  supported  by  local 
police  regulations.  Those  police  regulations  can  only 
be  established  by  the  local  legislature;  and  if  the  peo- 
ple are  opposed  to  slavery,  they  will  elect  representa- 
tives to  that  body  who  will  by  unfriendly  legislation 
effectually  prevent  the  introduction  of  it  into  their 
midst.  If,  on  the  contrary,  they  are  for  it,  their  leg- 
islature will  favor  its  extension.  Hence,  no  matter 
what  the  decision  of  the  Supreme  Court  may  be  on 
that  abstract  question,  still  the  right  of  the  people  to 
make  a  Slave  Territory  or  a  Free  Territory  is  perfect 
and  complete  under  the  Nebraska  bill.  I  hope  Mr. 
Lincoln  deems  my  answer  satisfactory  on  that  point. 

The  third  question  which  Mr.  Lincoln  presented  is. 
If  the  Supreme  Court  of  the  United  States  shall  decide 

1.  This  is  the  affirmative  reply  of  Douglas  to  the  important  question  of 


that  a  State  of  this  Union  cannot  exclude  slavery  from 
its  own  limits,  will  I  submit  to  it?  I  am  amazed  that 
Lincoln  should  ask  such  a  question. 

[**A  school-boy  knows  better."] 

Yes,  a  school-boy  does  know  better.  Mr.  Lincoln's 
object  is  to  cast  an  imputation  upon  the  Supreme  Court. 
He  might  as  well  ask  me,  Suppose  Mr.  Lincoln  should 
steal  a  horse,  would  I  sanction  it;  and  it  would  be  as 
genteel  in  me  to  ask  him,  in  the  event  he  stole  a  horse, 
what  ought  to  be  done  with  him.  He  casts  an  imputa- 
tion upon  the  Supreme  Court  of  the  United  States,  by 
supposing  that  they  would  violate  the  Constitution  of 
the  United  States.  I  tell  him  that  such  a  thing  is  not 
possible.  It  would  be  an  act  of  moral  treason  that  no 
man  on  the  bench  could  ever  descend  to.  Mr.  Lincoln 
himself  would  never  in  his  partial  feelings  so  far  forget 
what  was  right  as  to  be  guilty  of  such  an  act. 

The  fourth  question  of  Mr.  Lincoln  is.  Are  you  in 
favor  of  acquiring  additional  territory,  in  disregard 
as  to  how  such  acquisition  may  affect  the  Union  on  the 
slavery  question?  This  question  is  very  ingeniously 
and  cunningly  put. 

The  Black  Republican  creed  lays  it  down  expressly, 
that  under  no  circumstances  shall  we  acquire  any  more 
territory,  unless  slavery  is  first  prohibited  in  the  coun- 
try. I  ask  Mr.  Lincoln  whether  he  is  in  favor  of  that 
proposition.  Are  you  (addressing  Mr.  Lincoln)  op- 
posed to  the  acquisition  of  any  more  territory,  under 
any  circumstances,  unless  slavery  Is  prohibited  in  it? 
That  he  does  not  like  to  answer.  When  I  ask  him 
whether  he  stands  up  to  that  article  in  the  platform  of 
his  party,  he  turns,  Yankee-fashion,  and  without  an- 


swering  it,  asks  me  whether  I  am  in  favor  of  acquir- 
ing territory  without  regard  to  how  it  may  affect  the 
Union  on  the  slavery  question.  I  answer,  that  when- 
ever it  becomes  necessary,  in  our  growth  and  progress, 
to  acquire  more  territory,  that  I  am  in  favor  of  it, 
without  reference  to  the  question  of  slavery;  and  when 
we  have  acquired  it,  I  will  leave  the  people  free  to  do 
as  they  please,  either  to  make  it  slave  or  free  terri- 
tory, as  they  prefer.  ... 

I  trust  now  that  Mr.  Lincoln  will  deem  himself  an- 
swered on  his  four  points.  He  racked  his  brain  so 
much  in  devising  these  four  questions  that  he  ex- 
hausted himself,  and  had  not  strength  enough  to  in- 
vent the  others.  As  soon  as  he  is  able  to  hold  a  coun- 
cil with  his  advisers,  Lovejoy,  Farnsworth,  and  Fred 
Douglass,^  he  will  frame  and  propound  others. 

[**Good,  Good."] 

You  Black  Republicans  who  say  *'good,"  I  have  no 
doubt  think  that  they  are  all  good  men.  I  have  reason 
to  recollect  that  some  people  in  this  country  think  that 
Fred  Douglass  is  a  very  good  man.  The  last  time  I  came 
here  to  make  a  speech,  while  talking  from  the  stand  to 
you  people  of  Freeport,  as  I  am  doing  to-day,  I  saw  a 
carriage — and  a  magnificent  one  it  was — ^drive  up  and 
take  a  position  on  the  outside  of  the  crowd;  a  beauti- 
ful young  lady  was  sitting  on  the  box-seat,  while  Fred 
Douglass  and  her  mother  reclined  inside  and  the  owner 
of  the  carriage  acted  as  driver.  I  saw  this  in  your  own 

15.  Lovejoy  and  Farnsworth  were  Abolitionist  leaders  of  Illinois.  Fred 
Douglass  was  a  free  negro  of  unusual  ability.  In  citing  these  men  as 
Lincoln's  advisers,  Douglas  is  emphasizing  Lincoln's  supposed  connection 
with  the  obnoxious  Abolitionists. 


[**Whatof  it?"] 

All  I  have  to  say  of  it  is  this,  that  if  you  Black  Repub- 
licans think  that  the  negro  ought  to  be  on  a  social  equal- 
ity with  your  wives  and  daughters,  and  ride  in  a  car- 
riage with  your  wife,  whilst  you  drive  the  team,  you 
have  perfect  right  to  do  so.  I  am  told  that  one  of  Fred 
Douglass'  kinsmen,  another  rich  black  negro,  is  now 
traveling  in  this  part  of  the  State  making  speeches  for 
his  friend  Lincoln  as  the  champion  of  the  black  men. 

["What  have  you  to  say  against  it?"] 

All  I  have  to  say  on  that  subject  is,  that  those  of  you 
who  believe  that  the  negro  is  your  equal  and  ought  to 
be  on  an  equality  with  you  socially,  politically,  and 
legally,  have  a  right  to  entertain  those  opinions,  and  of 
course  will  vote  for  Mr.  Lincoln.  . . . 

Now,  there  are  a  great  many  Black  Republicans  of 
you  who  do  not  know  this  thing  was  done. 

[* 'White,  white,"  and  great  clamor.] 

I  wish  to  remind  you  that  while  Mr.  Lincoln  was 
speaking  there  was  not  a  Democrat  vulgar  and  black- 
guard enough  to  interrupt  him.  But  I  know  that  the 
shoe  is  pinching  you.  I  am  clinching  Lincoln  now,  and 
you  are  scared  to  death  for  the  result.  I  have  seen  this 
thing  before.  I  have  seen  men  make  appointments  for 
joint  discussions,  and  the  moment  their  man  has  been 
heard,  try  to  interrupt  and  prevent  a  fair  hearing  of 
the  other  side.  1  have  seen  your  mobs  before,  and 
defy  your  wrath.     [Tremendous  applause.] 

My  friends,  do  not  cheer,  for  I  need  my  whole  time 

Mr.  Lincoln  lays  down  the  doctrine  that  this  Union 
cannot  endure  divided  as  our  fathers  made  it,  with 


Free  and  Slave  States.  He  says  they  must  all  become 
one  thing,  or  all  the  other;  that  they  must  all  be  free 
or  all  slave,  or  else  the  Union  cannot  continue  to  exist; 
it  being  his  opinion  that  to  admit  any  more  Slave 
States,  to  continue  to  divide  the  Union  into  Free  and 
Slave  States,  will  dissolve  it.  I  want  to  know  of  Mr. 
Lincoln  whether  he  will  vote  for  the  admission  of  an- 
other Slave  State. 

He  tells  you  the  Union  cannot  exist  unless  the  States 
are  all  free  or  all  slave;  he  tells  you  that  he  is  opposed 
to  making  them  all  slave,  and  hence  he  is  for  making 
them  all  free,  in  order  that  the  Union  may  exist;  and 
yet  he  will  not  say  that  he  will  not  vote  against  another 
Slave  State,  knowing  that  the  Union  must  be  dissolved 
if  he  votes  for  it.  I  ask  you  if  that  is  fair  dealing. 
....  Show  me  that  it  is  my  duty,  in  order  to  save 
the  Union,  to  do  a  particular  act,  and  I  will  do  it  if 
the  Constitution  does  not  prohibit  it.  I  am  not  for 
the  dissolution  of  the  Union  under  any  circumstances. 
I  will  pursue  no  course  of  conduct  that  will  give  just 
cause  for  the  dissolution  of  the  Union.  The  hope  of 
the  friends  of  freedom  throughout  the  world  rests  upon 
the  perpetuity  of  this  Union.  The  down-trodden  and 
oppressed  people  who  are  suffering  under  European 
despotism  all  look  with  hope  and  anxiety  to  the  Amer- 
ican Union  as  the  only  resting  place  and  permanent 
home  of  freedom  and  self-government.  . .  . 

I  know  Mr.  Lincoln's  object;  he  wants  to  divide  the 
Democratic  party,  in  order  that  he  may  defeat  me  and 
get  to  the  Senate. . . . 


My  Friends:  It  will  readily  occur  to  you  that  I  can- 
not, in  half  an  hour,  notice  all  the  things  that  so  able 
a  man  as  Judge  Douglas  can  say  in  an  hour  and  a  half; 
and  I  hope,  therefore,  if  there  be  anything  that  he  has 
said  upon  which  you  would  like  to  hear  something  from 
me,  but  which  I  omit  to  comment  upon,  you  will  bear 
in  mind  that  it  would  be  expecting  an  impossibility 
for  me  to  go  over  his  whole  ground.  I  can  but  take 
up  some  of  the  points  that  he  has  dwelt  upon,  and  em- 
ploy my  half-hour  specially  on  them. 

The  first  thing  I  have  to  say  to  you  is  a  word  in  re- 
gard to  Judge  Douglas's  declaration  about  the  "vul- 
garity and  blackguardism''  in  the  audience, — that  no 
such  thing,  as  he  says,  was  shown  by  any  Democrat 
while  I  was  speaking.  Now,  I  only  wish,  by  way  of 
reply  on  this  subject,  to  say  that  while  I  was  speaking, 
I  used  no  * 'vulgarity  or  blackguardism"  toward  any 
Democrat.  .  .  . 

He  says  I  do  not  declare  I  would  in  any  event  vote 
for  the  admission  of  a  Slave  State  into  the  Union.  If 
I  have  been  fairly  reported,  he  will  see  that  I  did  give 
an  explicit  answer  to  his  interrogatories;  I  did  not 
merely  say  that  I  would  dislike  to  be  put  to  the  test, 
but  I  said  clearly,  if  I  were  put  to  the  test,  and  a  Ter- 
ritory from  which  slavery  had  been  excluded  should 
present  herself  with  a  State  Constitution  sanctioning 
slavery, — a  most  extraordinary  thing  and  wholly  un- 
likely to  happen, — I  did  not  see  how  I  could  avoid  vot- 
ing for  her  admission.  But  he  refuses  to  understand 
that  I  said  so,  and  he  wants  this  audience  to  under- 
stand that  I  did  not  say  so.     Yet  it  will  be  so  reported 


in  the  printed  speech  that  he  cannot  help  seeing  it. 

He  says  if  I  should  vote  for  the  admission  of  a  Slave 
State  I  would  be  voting  for  a  dissolution  of  the  Union, 
because  I  hold  that  the  Union  cannot  permanently  ex- 
ist half  slave  and  half  free.  I  repeat  that  I  do  not  be- 
lieve this  Government  can  endure  permanently  half 
slave  and  half  free;  yet  I  do  not  admit,  nor  does  it  at 
all  follow,  that  the  admission  of  a  single  Slave  State 
will  permanently  fix  the  character  and  establish  this 
as  a  universal  slave  nation.  The  Judge  is  very  happy 
indeed  at  working  up  these  quibbles.  .  .  . 

His  hope  rested  on  the  idea  of  enlisting  the  great 
"Black  Republican"  party,  and  making  it  the  tail  of 
his  new  kite.  He  l^nows  he  was  expecting  from  day 
to  day  to  turn  Republican  and  place  himself  at  the 
head  of  our  organization.  He  has  found  that  these 
despised  ''Black  Republicans"  estimate  him  by  a  stand- 
ard which  he  has  taught  them  none  too  well.  Hence 
he  is  crawling  back  into  his  old  camp,  and  you  will 
find  him  eventually  installed  in  full  fellowship  among 
those  whom  he  was  then  battling,  and  with  whom  he 
now  pretends  to  be  at  such  fearful  variance. 

[Loud  applause  and  cries  of  *'Go  on,  Go  on."] 

I  cannot,  gentlemen,  my  time  has  expired. 



Jonesboro,  September  15,  1858 


Ladies  and  Gentlemen:  I  appear  before  you  to-day 
in  pursuance  of  a  previous  notice,  and  have  made  ar- 
rangements with  Mr.  Lincoln  to  divide  time,  and  dis- 
cuss with  him  the  leading  political  topics  that  now 
agitate  the  country. 

Prior  to  1854  this  country  was  divided  into  two  great 
political  parties  known  as  Whig  and  Democratic.  Since 
that  period,  a  great  revolution  has  taken  place  in  the 
formation  of  parties,  by  which  they  now  seem  to  be 
divided  by  a  geographical  line,  a  large  party  in  the 
North  being  arrayed  under  the  Abolition  or  Republi- 
can banner,  in  hostility  to  the  Southern  States,  South- 
ern people,  and  Southern  institutions.  . .  . 

They  were  Republicans  or  Abolitionists  in  the  North, 
anti-Nebraska  men  down  about  Springfield,  and  in  this 
neighborhood  they  contented  themselves  with  talking 
about  the  inexpediency  of  the  repeal  of  the  Missouri 
Compromise.  In  the  extreme  northern  counties  they 
brought  out  men  to  canvass  the  State  whose  complexion 
suited  their  political  creed;  and  hence  Fred  Douglass, 
the  negro,  was  to  be  found  there,  following  General 
Cass,^  and  attempting  to  speak  on  behalf  of  Lincoln, 

1.  Senator  Lewis  Cass  of  Michigan,  a  Democratic  candidate  for  the  presi- 
dency in  1848,  was  defeated  by  Gen.  Zachary  Taylor,  a  Whig. 


Trumbull,  and  Abolitionism,  against  that  illustrious 
Senator.  Why,  they  brought  Fred  Douglass  to  Free- 
port,  when  I  was  addressing  a  meeting  there,  in  a  car- 
riage driven  by  the  white  owner,  the  negro  sitting  in- 
side with  the  white  lady  and  her  daughter. . . . 

Mr.  Lincoln  likens  that  bond  of  the  Federal  Consti- 
tution, joining  Free  and  Slave  States  together,  to  a 
house  divided  against  itself,  and  says  that  it  is  con- 
trary to  the  law  of  God,  and  cannot  stand.  When  did 
he  learn,  and  by  what  authority  does  he  proclaim,  that 
this  Government  is  contrary  to  the  law  of  God  and  can- 
not stand?  It  has  stood  thus  divided  into  Free  and 
Slave  States  from  its  organization  up  to  this  day.  Dur- 
ing that  period  we  have  increased  from  four  millions 
to  thirty  millions  of  people;  we  have  extended  our 
territory  from  the  Mississippi  to  the  Pacific  Ocean;  we 
have  acquired  the  Floridas  and  Texas,  and  other  ter- 
ritory sufficient  to  double  our  geographical  extent;  we 
have  increased  in  population,  in  wealth,  and  in  power 
beyond  any  example  on  earth;  we  have  risen  from  a 
weak  and  feeble  power  to  become  the  terror  and  ad- 
miration of  the  civilized  world;  and  all  this  has  been 
done  under  a  Constitution  which  Mr.  Lincoln,  in  sub- 
stance, says  is  in  violation  of  the  law  of  God;  and  under 
a  Union  divided  into  Free  and  Slave  States,  which  Mr. 
Lincoln  thinks,  because  of  such  division,  cannot  stand. 
Surely,  Mr.  Lincoln  is  a  wiser  man  than  those  who 
framed  the  Government.  .  .  . 

I  hold  that  a  negro  is  not  and  never  ought  to  be  a  citi- 
zen of  the  United  States.  I  hold  that  this  Government 
was  made  on  the  white  basis,  by  white  men,  for  the  ben- 
efit of  white  men  and  their  posterity  forever,  and  should 


be  administered  by  white  men  and  none  others.  I  do  not 
believe  that  the  Almighty  made  the  negro  capable  of 
self-government.  I  am  aware'  that  all  the  Abolition 
lecturers  that  you  find  traveling  about  through  the 
country  are  in  the  habit  of  reading  the  Declaration  of 
Independence  to  prove  that  all  men  were  created  equal 
and  endowed  by  their  Creator  with  certain  inalienable 
rights,  among  which  are  life,  liberty,  and  the  pursuit 
of  happiness.  Mr.  Lincoln  is  very  much  in  the  habit 
of  following  in  the  track  of  Lovejoy  in  this  particular, 
by  reading  that  part  of  the  Declaration  of  Independ- 
ence to  prove  that  the  negro  was  endowed  by  the  Al- 
mighty with  inalienable  right  of  equality  with  white 
men.  Now,  I  say  to  you,  my  fellow-citizens,  that  in 
my  opinion,  the  signers  of  the  Declaration  had  no  ref- 
erence to  the  negro  whatever,  when  they  declared  all 
men  to  be  created  equal.  They  desired  to  express  by 
that  phrase  white  men,  men  of  European  birth  and 
European  descent,  and  had  no  reference  either  to  the 
negro,  the  savage  Indians,  the  Fiji,  the  Malay,  or 
any  other  inferior  and  degraded  race,  when  they  spoke 
of  the  equality  of  men.  One  great  evidence  that  such 
was  their  understanding,  is  to  be  found  in  the  fact  that 
at  that  time  every  one  of  the  thirteen  colonies  was  a 
slaveholding  colony,  every  signer  of  the  Declaration 
represented  a  slaveholding  constituency,  and  we  know 
that  not  one  of  them  emancipated  his  slaves,  much  less 
offered  citizenship  to  them,  when  they  signed  the  Dec- 
laration; and  yet,  if  they  intended  to  declare  that  the 
negro  was  the  equal  of  the  white  man,  and  entitled  by 
divine  right  to  an  equality  with  him,  they  were  bound, 
as  honest  men,  that  day  and  hour  to  have  put  their  ne- 


groes  on  an  equality  with  themselves.  Instead  of  do- 
ing so,  with  uplifted  eyes  to  Heaven  they  implored  the 
divine  blessing  upon  them,  during  the  seven  years* 
bloody  war  they  had  to  fight  to  maintain  that  Declar- 
ation, never  dreaming  that  they  were  violating  divine 
law  by  still  holding  the  negroes  in  bondage  and  depriv- 
ing them  of  equality. 

My  friends,  I  am  in  favor  of  preserving  this  Govern- 
ment as  our  fathers  made  it.  It  does  not  follow  by 
any  means  that  because  a  negro  is  not  your  equal  or 
mine,  that  hence  he  must  necessarily  be  a  slave.  On 
the  contrary,  it  does  follow  that  we  ought  to  extend 
to  the  negro  every  right,  every  privilege,  every  im- 
munity, which  he  is  capable  of  enjoying,  consistent 
with  the  good  of  society.  When  you  ask  me  what 
these  rights  are,  what  their  nature  and  extent  is,  I  tell 
you  that  is  a  question  which  each  State  of  this  Union 
must  decide  for  itself.  . .  . 

I  now  come  back  to  the  question,  why  cannot  this 
Union  exist  forever,  divided  into  Free  and  Slave  States, 
as  our  fathers  made  it?  It  can  thus  exist  if  each  State 
will  carry  out  the  principles  upon  which  our  institu- 
tions were  founded ;  to  wit,  the  rights  of  each  State  to 
do  as  it  pleases,  without  meddling  with  its  neighbors. 
Just  act  upon  that  great  principle,  and  this  Union  will 
not  only  live  forever,  but  it  will  extend  and  expand 
until  it  covers  the  whole  continent,  and  makes  this  con- 
federacy one  grand,  ocean-bound  Republic.  We  must 
bear  in  mind  that  we  are  yet  a  young  nation,  growing 
with  a  rapidity  unequalled  in  the  history  of  the  world, 
that  our  national  increase  is  great,  and  that  the  emi- 
gration from  the  old  world  is  increasing,  requiring  us 


to  expand  and  acquire  new  territory  from  time  to  time, 
in  order  to  give  our  people  land  to  live  upon.  If  we 
live  upon  the  principle  of  State  rights  and  State  sover- 
eignity, each  State  regulating  its  own  affairs  and  mind- 
ing its  own  business,  we  can  go  on  and  extend  indefin- 
itely, just  as  fast  and  as  far  as  we  need  the  territory .... 


Ladies  and  Gentlemen :  There  is  very  much  in  the 
principles  that  Judge  Douglas  has  here  enunciated  that 
I  must  cordially  approve,  and  over  which  I  shall  have 
no  controversy  with  him.  In  so  far  as  he  has  insisted 
that  all  the  States  have  the  right  to  do  exactly  as  they 
please  about  all  their  domestic  relations,  including  that 
of  slavery,  I  agree  entirely  with  him.  He  places  me 
wrong  in  spite  of  all  I  can  tell  him,  though  I  repeat  it 
again  and  again,  insisting  that  I  have  no  difference 
with  him  upon  this  subject.  I  have  made  a  great  many 
speeches,  some  of  which  have  been  printed,  and  it  will 
be  utterly  impossible  for  him  to  find  anything  that  I 
have  ever  put  in  print  contrary  to  what  I  now  say  upon 
this  subject.  I  hold  myself  under  constitutional  obli- 
gations to  allow  the  people  in  all  the  States,  without 
interference,  direct  or  indirect,  to  do  exactly  as  they 
please;  and  I  deny  that  I  have  any  inclination  to  inter- 
fere with  them,  even  if  there  were  no  such  constitu- 
tional obligation.  I  can  only  say  again  that  I  am  placed 
improperly — altogether  improperly,  in  spite  of  all  I 
can  say — when  it  is  insisted  that  I  entertain  any  other 
view  or  purposes  in  regard  to  that  matter. 

While  I  am  upon  this  subject,  I  will  make  some  an- 


swers  briefly  to  certain  propositions  that  Judge  Doug- 
las has  put.  He  says,  **Why  can't  this  Union  endure 
permanently,  half  slave  and  half  free?"  I  have  said 
that  I  supposed  it  could  not,  and  I  will  try,  before  this 
new  audience,  to  give  briefly  some  of  the  reasons  for 
entertaining  that  opinion.  Another  form  of  his  ques- 
tion is,  "Why  can't  we  let  it  stand  as  our  fathers 
placed  it?"  That  is  the  exact  difficulty  between  us. 
I  say  that  Judge  Douglas  and  his  friends  have  changed 
it  from  the  position  in  which  our  fathers  originally 
placed  it.  I  say,  in  the  way  our  fathers  originally 
left  the  slavery  question,  the  institution  was  in  the 
course  of  ultimate  extinction,  and  the  public  mind 
rested  in  the  belief  that  it  was  in  the  course  of  ulti- 
mate extinction.  I  say,  when  this  Government  was  first 
established,  it  was  the  policy  of  its  founders  to  pro- 
hibit the  spread  of  slavery  into  the  new  Territories  of 
the  United  States,  where  it  had  not  existed.  But  Judge 
Douglas  and  his  friends  have  broken  up  that  policy, 
and  placed  it  upon  a  new  basis,  by  which  it  is  to  be- 
come national  and  perpetual.  All  I  have  asked  or  de- 
sired anywhere  is  that  it  should  be  placed  back  again 
upon  the  basis  that  the  fathers  of  our  Government  orig- 
inally placed  it  upon.  I  have  no  doubt  that  it  would 
become  extinct,  for  all  time  to  come,  if  we  but  re- 
adopted  the  policy  of  the  fathers,  by  restricting  it  to 
the  limits  it  has  already  covered, — restricting  it  from 
the  new  Territories.  .  .  . 

He  also  says  that  the  Whig  party  in  National  Con- 
vention agreed  to  abide  by  and  regard  as  a  finality  the 
Compromise  of  1850.  .  .  . 

When  that  Compromise  was  made  it  did  not  repeal 


the  old  Missouri  Compromise.  It  left  a  region  of  United 
States  territory  half  as  large  as  the  present  territory 
of  the  United  States,  north  of  the  line  of  36  degrees  30 
minutes,  in  which  slavery  was  prohibted  by  act  of  Con- 
gress. This  Compromise  did  not  repeal  that  one.  It 
did  not  affect  or  propose  to  repeal  it.  But  at  last  it 
became  Judge  Douglas's  duty,  as  he  thought  (and  I 
find  no  fault  with  him),  as  Chairman  of  the  Commit- 
tee on  Territories,  to  bring  in  a  bill  for  the  organiza- 
tion of  a  Territorial  Government, — first  of  one,  then 
of  two  Territories^  north  of  that  line.  When  he  did  so 
it  ended  in  his  inserting  a  provision  substantially  re- 
pealing the  Missouri  Compromise.  That  was  because 
the  Compromise  of  1850  had  not  repealed  it.  And  now 
I  ask  why  he  could  not  have  let  that  Compromise  alone? 
We  were  quiet  from  the  agitation  of  the  slavery  ques- 
tion. We  were  making  no  fuss  about  it.  All  had  ac- 
quiesced in  the  Compromise  measures  of  1850.  We 
never  had  been  seriously  disturbed  by  an  Abolition 
agitation  before  that  period.  When  he  came  to  form 
governments  for  the  Territories  north  of  the  line  of 
36  degrees,  30  minutes,  why  could  he  not  have  let  that 
matter  stand  as  it  was  standing?  Was  it  necessary  to 
the  organization  of  a  Territory?  Not  at  all.  Iowa 
lay  north  of  the  line,  and  had  been  organized  as  a  Terri- 
tory, and  come  into  the  Union  as  a  State,  without  dis- 
turbing that  Compromise.  There  was  no  sort  of  neces- 
sity for  destroying  it  to  organize  these  Territories. 
But,  gentlemen,  it  would  take  up  all  my  time  to  meet 
all  the  little  quibbling  arguments  of  Judge  Douglas  to 
show  that  the  Missouri  Compromise  was  repealed  by 

1,  Kansas  and  Nebraska, 


the  Compromise  of  1850.  My  own  opinion  is,  that  a 
careful  investigation  of  all  the  arguments  to  sustain 
the  position  that  that  Compromise  was  virtually  re- 
pealed by  the  Compromise  of  1850  would  show  that 
they  are  the  merest  fallacies.  .  .  . 

In  complaining  of  what  I  said  in  my  speech  at 
Springfield,  in  which  he  says  I  accepted  my  nomina- 
tion for  the  Senatorship  (where,  by  the  way,  he  is  at 
fault,  for  if  he  will  examine  it,'  he  will  find  no  accept- 
ance in  it),  he  again  quotes  that  portion  in  which  I 
said  that  **a  house  divided  against  itself  cannot  stand." 
Let  me  say  a  word  in  regard  to  that  matter.  He  tries 
to  persuade  us  that  there  must  be  a  variety  in  the  dif- 
ferent institutions  of  the  States  of  the  Union;  that 
that  variety  necessarily  proceeds  from  the  variety  of 
soil,  climate,  of  the  face  of  the  country,  and  the  dif- 
ference in  the  natural  features  of  the  States.  I  agree 
to  all  that.  Have  these  very  matters  ever  produced 
any  difficulty  amongst  us?  Not  at  all.  Have  we  ever 
had  any  quarrel  over  the  fact  that  they  have  laws  in 
Louisiana  designed  to  regulate  the  commerce  that 
springs  from  the  production  of  sugar?  Or  because  we 
have  a  different  class  relative  to  the  production  of 
flour  in  this  State?  Have  they  produced  any  differ- 
ences? Not  at  all.  They  are  the  very  cements  of  this 
Union.  They  don't  make  the  house  a  ''house  divided 
against  itself."  They  are  the  props  that  hold  up  the 
house  and  sustain  the  Union. 

But  has  it  been  so  with  this  element  of  slavery? 
Have  we  not  always  had  quarrels  and  difficulties  over 
it?  And  when  will  we  cease  to  have  quarrels  over  it? 
Like  causes  produce  like  effects.     It  is  worth  while  to 


observe  that  we  have  generally  had  comparative  peace 
upon  the  slavery  question,  and  that  there  has  been  no 
cause  for  alarm  until  it  was  excited  by  the  effort  to 
spread  it  into  new  territory.  Whenever  it  has  been 
limited  to  its  present  bounds,  and  there  has  been  no 
effort  to  spread  it,  there  has  been  peace.  All  the 
trouble  and  convulsion  has  proceeded  from  efforts  to 
spread  it  over  more  territory.  It  was  thus  at  the  date 
of  the  Missouri  Compromise.  It  was  so  again  with 
the  annexation  of  Texas;  so  with  the  territory  ac- 
quired by  the  Mexican  War;  and  it  is  so  now.  When- 
ever there  has  been  an  effort  to  spread  it  there  has 
been  agitation  and  resistance.  Now,  I  appeal  to  this 
audience  (very  few  of  whom  are  my  political  friends), 
as  national  men,  whether  we  have  reason  to  expect 
that  the  agitation  in  regard  to  this  subject  will  cease 
while  the  causes  that  tend  to  reproduce  agitation  are 
actively  at  work?  Will  not  the  same  cause  that  pro- 
duced agitation  in  1820,  when  the  Missouri  Compro- 
mise was  formed, — that  which  produced  the  agitation 
upon  the  annexation  of  Texas,  and  at  other  times, — 
work  out  the  same  results  always?  Do  you  think  that 
the  nature  of  man  will  be  changed,  that  the  same 
causes  that  produced  agitation  at  one  time  will  not 
have  the  same  effect  at  another? 

This  has  been  the  result  so  far  as  my  observation  of 
the  slavery  question  and  my  reading  in  history  ex- 
tends. What  right  have  we,  then,  to  hope  that  the 
trouble  will  cease,  that  the  agitation  will  come  to  an 
end,  until  it  shall  either  be  placed  back  where  it  orig- 
inally stood,  and  where  the  fathers  originally  placed 
it,  or,  on  the  other  hand,  until  it  shall  entirely  master 


all  opposition?  This  is  the  view  I  entertain,  and  this 
is  the  reason  why  I  entertained  it,  as  Judge  Douglas 
has  read  from  my  Springfield  speech. . . . 

At  Freeport  I  answered  several  interrogatories  that 
had  been  propounded  to  me  by  Judge  Douglas  at  the 
Ottawa  meeting.  The  Judge  has  not  yet  seen  fit  to 
find  any  fault  with  the  position  that  I  took  in  regard 
to  those  seven  interrogatories,  which  were  certainly 
broad  enough,  in  all  conscience,  to  cover  the  entire 
ground.  In  my  answers,  which  have  been  printed,  and 
all  have  had  the  opportunity  of  seeing,  I  take  the 
ground  that  those  who  elect  me  must  expect  that  I  will 
do  nothing  which  will  not  be  in  accordance  with  those 
answers.  I  have  some  right  to  assert  that  Judge  Doug- 
las has  no  fault  to  find  with  them.  But  he  chooses  to 
still  try  to  thrust  me  upon  different  ground,  without 
paying  any  attention  to  my  answers,  the  obtaining  of 
which  from  me  cost  him  so  much  trouble  and  concern. 
At  the  same  time  I  propounded  four  interrogatories  to 
him,  claiming  it  as  a  right  that  he  should  answer  as 
many  interrogatories  for  me  as  I  did  for  him,  and  I 
would  reserve  myself  for  a  future  installment  when  I 
got  them  ready.  The  Judge,  in  answering  me  upon 
that  occasion,  put  in  what  I  suppose  he  intends  as  an- 
swers to  all  four  of  my  interrogatories.  .  .  . 

The  second  interrogatory  that  I  propounded  to  him 
was  this: — 

Question  2.  Can  the  people  of  a  United  States  Ter- 
ritory, in  any  lawful  way,  against  the  wish  of  any  citi- 
zen of  the  United  States,  exclude  slavery  from  its  lim- 
its prior  to  the  formation  of  a  State  Constitution? 

To  this  Judge  Douglas  answered  that  they  can  law- 


fully  exclude  slavery  from  the  Territory  prior  to  the 
formation  of  a  Constitution.  He  goes  on  to  tell  us 
how  it  can  be  done.  As  I  understand  him,  he  holds 
that  it  can  be  done  by  the  Territorial  Legislature  re- 
fusing to  make  any  enactments  for  the  protection  of 
slavery  in  the  Territory,  and  especially  by  adopting 
unfriendly  legislation  to  it.  For  the  sake  of  clearness, 
I  state  it  again:  that  they  can  exclude  slavery  from 
the  Territory,  1st,  by  witholding  what  he  assumes  to 
be  an  indispensable  assistance  to  it  in  the  way  of  leg- 
islation; and,  2nd,  by  unfriendly  legislation.  If  I 
rightly  understood  him,  I  wish  to  ask  your  attention 
for  a  while  to  his  position. 

In  the  first  place,  the  Supreme  Court  of  the  United 
States  has  decided  that  any  Congressional  prohibition 
of  slavery  in  the  Territories  is  unconstitutional,  that 
they  have  reached  this  proposition  as  a  conclusion  from 
their  former  proposition,  that  the  Constitution  of  the 
United  States  expressly  recognizes  property  in  slaves, 
and  from  that  other  Constitutional  provision,  that  no 
person  shall  be  deprived  of  property  without  due  proc- 
ess of  law.  Hence,  they  reach  the  conclusion  that  as 
the  Constitution  of  the  United  States  expressly  recog- 
nizes property  in  slaves,  and  prohibits  any  person  from 
being  deprived  of  property  without  due  process  of  law, 
to  pass  an  Act  of  Congress  by  which  a  man  who  owned 
a  slave  on  one  side  of  a  line  would  be  deprived  of  him 
if  he  took  him  on  the  other  side,  is  depriving  him  of 
that  property  without  due  process  of  law.  That  I 
understand  to  be  the  decision  of  the  Supreme  Court. 
I  understand  also  that  Judge  Douglas  adheres  most 
firmly  to  that  decision;  and  the  difficulty  is,  how  is  it 


possible  for  any  power  to  exclude  slavery  from  the  Ter- 
ritory, unless  in  violation  of  that  decision?  That  is 
the  difficulty. ... 

I  hold  that  the  proposition  that  slavery  cannot  enter 
a  new  country  without  police  regulations  is  historically 
false.  It  is  not  true  at  all.  I  hold  that  the  history  of 
this  country  shows  that  the  institution  of  slavery  was 
originally  planted  upon  this  continent  without  these 
'^police  regulations"  which  the  Judge  now  thinks  nec- 
essary for  the  actual  establishment  of  it.  Not  only  so, 
but  is  there  not  another  fact:  how  came  this  Dred  Scott 
decision  to  be  made?  It  was  made  upon  the  case  of  a 
negro  being  taken  and  actually  held  in  slavery  in  Min- 
nesota Territory,  claiming  his  freedom  because  the  act 
of  Congress  prohibited  his  being  so  held  there.  Will 
the  Judge  pretend  that  Dred  Scott  was  not  held  there 
without  police  regulations?  There  is  at  least  one  mat- 
ter of  record  as  to  his  having  been  held  in  slavery  in 
the  Territory,  not  only  without  police  regulations,  but 
in  the  teeth  of  Congressional  legislation  supposed  to 
be  valid  at  the  time.  This  shows  that  there  is  vigor 
enough  in  slavery  to  plant  itself  in  a  new  country  even 
against  unfriendly  legislation.  It  takes  not  only  law, 
but  the  enforcement  of  law,  to  keep  it  out. . . . 

My  fifth  interrogatory  is  this: 

If  the  slaveholding  citizens  of  a  United  States  Ter- 
ritory should  need  and  demand  Congressional  legisla- 
tion for  the  protection  of  their  slave  property  in  such 
Territory,  would  you,  as  a  member  of  Congress,  vote 
for  or  against  such  legislation? 

Judge  Douglas:  Will  you  repeat  that?  I  want  to 
answer  that  question. 


Mr.  Lincoln:  If  the  slaveholding  citizens  of  a  United 
States  Territory  should  need  and  demand  Congressional 
legislation  for  the  protection  of  their  slave  proi)erty  in 
such  Territory,  would  you,  as  a  memb  r  of  Congress, 
vote  for  or  against  such  legislation? 

I  am  aware  that  in  some  of  the    speeches   Judgi 
Douglas  has  made  he  has  spoken  as  if  he  did  not  knot 
or  think  that  the  Supreme  Court  had  decided  that  \ 
Territorial   Legislature  cannot  exclude  slavery.     Fn 
cisely  what  the  Judge  would  say  upon  the  subject 
whether  he  would  say  definitely  that  he  does  not  un 
derstand  they  have  so   decided,  or  whether  he  wouli 
say  he  does  understand  that  the  court  have  so  decided 
— I  do  not  know;  but  I  know  that  in  his  speech   a 
Springfield  he  spoke  of  it  as  a  thing  they  had  not  de- 
cided  yet;  and   in  his  answer  to  me  at  F'reeport  he 
spoke   of  it,   so  far,   again,  as  I  can  comprehend   it, 
as  a  thing  that  had  not  yet  been  decided.     Now  I  hold 
that  if  the  Judge  does  entertain  that  view,  I  think  that 
he  is  not  mistaken  in  so  far  as  it  can  be  said  that  the 
court  has  not  decided  anything  save  the  mere  question 
of  jurisdiction.     I  know  the  legal   arguments  that  can 
be  made, — that  after  a  court  has  decided  that  it  can- 
not take  jurisdiction  in  a  case,  it  then  has  decided  all 
that  is  before  it,  and  that  is  the  end  of  it.    A  plausible 
argument  can  be  made   in  favor  of  that  proposition; 
but  1  know  that  Judge  Douglas  has  said  in  one  of  his 
speeches  that  the  court  went  forward,  like  honest  men 
as  they  were,   and  decided  all  the  points  in  the  case. 
If  any  points  are  really  extra-judicially  decided,  be- 
cause not  necessarily  before  them,  then  this  one  as  to 
the  power  of  the  Territorial  Legislature  to  exclude 


slavery  is  one  of  them,  as  also  the  one  that  the  Missouri 
Compromise  was  null  and  void.  They  are  both  extra- 
judicial, or  neither  is,  according  as  the  court  held  that 
they  had  no  jurisdiction  in  the  case  between  the  parties, 
because  of  want  of  capacity  of  one  party  to  maintain  a 
suit  in  that  court.  I  want,  if  I  have  sufficient  time, 
to  show  that  the  court  did  pass  its  opinion;  but  that  is 
the  only  thing  actually  done  in  the  case.  If  they  did 
not  decide,  they  .showed  what  they  were  ready  to  de- 
cide whenever  the  matter  was  before  them.  What  is 
that  opinion?  After  having  argued  that  Congress  had 
no  power  to  pass  a  law  excluaing  slavery  from  a  United 
States  Territory,  they  then  used  language  to  this  effect: 
That  inasmuch  as  Congress  Itself  could  not  exercise 
such  a  power,  it  followed  as  a  matter  of  course  that  it 
could  not  authorize  a  Territorial  Governinent  to  exer- 
cise it;  for  the  Territorial  Lrgislature  can  do  no  more 
than  Congress  could  do.  7hus  it  expressed  its  opinion 
emphatically  against  the  power  of  a  Territorial  Legis- 
lature to  exclude  slavery,  leaving  us  in  jurt  as  little 
doubt  on  that  point  as  upon  any  other  point  thay  really 

Now,  my  fellow-citizens,  I  will  detain  you  only  a 
little  while  longer;  my  time  is  nearly  out.  I  find  a 
report  of  a  speech  made  by  Judge  Douglas  at  Joliet, 
since  we  last  met  at  Freeport— published,  I  believe,  in 
the  Missouri  Republican — on  the  9th  of  this  month,  in 
which  Judge  Douglas  says: 

You  know  at  Ottawa,  I  read  this  platform,  and  asked  him 
if  he  concurred  in  each  and  all  of  the  principles  set  forth  in 
it.  He  would  not  answer  these  questions.  At  last  I  said 
frankly,  I  wish  you  to  answer  them,  because  when  I  get 
them  up  here  where  the  color  of  your  principles  are  a  little 


darker  than  in  Egypt,  I  intend  to  trot  you  down  to  Jonesboro. 
The  very  notice  that  I  was  going  to  take  him  down  to  Egypt 
made  him  tremble  in  the  knees  so  that  he  had  to  be  carried 
from  the  platform.  He  laid  up  seven  days,  and  in  the  mean- 
time held  a  consultation  with  all  his  political  physicians; 
they  had  Lovejoy,  and  Farnsworth,  and  all  the  leaders  of 
the  Abolition  party;  they  consulted  it  all  over,  and  at  last 
Lincoln  came  to  the  conclusion  that  he  would  answer,  so  he 
came  up  to  Freeport  last  Friday. 

Now,  that  statement  altogether  furnishes  a  subject 
for  philosophical  contemplation.  I  have  been  treat- 
ing it  in  that  way,  and  I  have  really  come  to  the  con- 
clusion that  I  can  explain  it  in  no  other  way  than  by 
believing  the  Judge  is  crazy.  If  he  was  in  his  right 
mind,  I  cannot  conceive  how  he  would  have  risked  dis- 
gusting the  four  or  five  thousand  of  his  own  friends 
who  stood  there,  and  knew,  as  to  my  having  been  car- 
ried from  the  platform,  that  there  was  not  a  word  of 
truth  in  it. 

Judge  Douglas:  Did  n't  they  carry  you  off? 

Mr.  Lincoln:  There  that  question  illustrates  the 
character  of  this  man  Douglas  exactly.  He  smiles  now 
and  says,  **Didn't  they  carry  you  off?"  But  he  said 
then,  **hehadto  be  carried  off;"  and  he  said  it  to 
convince  the  country  that  he  had  so  completely  broken 
me  down  by  his  speech  that  I  had  to  be  carried  away.^ 
Now  he  seeks  to  dodge  it,  and  asks,  "Did  n't  they  carry 
you  off?"  Yes,  they  did.  But,  Judge  Douglas,  why 
didn't  you  tell  the  truth?  I  would  like  to  know  why 
you  did  n't  tell  the  truth  about  it.  And  then  again, 
**He  laid  up  seven   days."     He  put  this  in  print  for 

1.  In  truth,  Lincoln's  enthusiastic  friends  carried  him  on  their  shoulders  at 
the  close  of  the  Ottawa  debate. 


the  people  of  the  country  to  read  as  a  serious  docu- 
ment.... There  is  another  thing  in  that  statement 
that  alarmed  me  very  greatly  as  he  states  it,  that  he 
was  going  to  **trot  me  down  to  Egypt."  Thereby  he 
would  have  you  to  infer  that  I  would  not  come  to  Egypt 
unless  he  forced  me,' — that  I  could  not  be  got  here, 
unless  he,  giant-like,  had  hauled  me  down  here.  That 
statement  he  makes,  too,  in  the  teeth  of  the  knowledge 
that  I  had  made  the  stipulation  to  come  down  here, 
and  that  he  himself  had  been  very  reluctant  to  enter 
into  the  stipulation.  More  than  all  this,  Judge  Doug- 
las, when  he  made  that  statement,  must  have  been 
crazy,  and  wholly  out  of  his  sober  senses,  or  else  he 
would  have  known  that  when  he  got  me  down  here, 
that  promise — that  windy  promise — of  his  powers  to 
annihilate  me,  would  n't  amount  to  anything.  Now, 
how  little  do  I  look  like  being  carried  away  trembling? 
Let  the  Judge  go  on;  and  after  he  is  done  with  his 
half  hour,  I  want  you  all,  if  I  can't  go  home  myself, 
to  let  me  stay  and  rot  here;  and  if  anything  happens 
to  the  Judge,  if  I  cannot  carry  him  to  the  hotel  and 
put  him  to  bed,  let  me  stay  here  and  rot.  I  say,  then, 
there  is  something  extraordinary  in  this  statement.  I 
ask  you  if  you  know  any  other  living  man  who  would 
make  such  a  statement?  I  will  ask  my  friend  Casey, 
over  there,  if  he  would  do  such  a  thing?  Would  he 
send  that  out,  and  have  his  men  take  it  as  the  truth? 
Did  the  Judge  talk  of  trotting  me  down  to  Egypt  to 
scare  me  to  death?  Why,  I  know  this  people  better 
than  he  does.  I  was  raised  just  a  little  east  of  here. 
I  am  a  part  of  this  people.  But  the  Judge  was  raised 
further  north,  and  perhaps  he  has  some  horrid  idea  of 


what  this  people  might  be  induced  to  do.  But  really, 
I  have  talked  about  this  matter  perhaps  longer  than  I 
ought,  for  it  is  no  great  thing;  and  yet  the  smallest 
are  often  the  most  difficult  things  to  deal  with.  The 
Judge  has  set  about  seriously  trying  to  make  the  im- 
pression that  when  we  meet  at  different  places  I  am 
literally  in  his  clutches, — that  I  am  a  poor,  helpless, 
decrepit  mouse,  and  that  I  can  do  nothing  at  all.  This 
is  one  of  the  ways  he  has  taken  to  create  that  impres- 
sion. I  don't  know  any  other  way  to  meet  it,  except 
this.  I  don't  want  to  quarrel  with  him, — to  call  him 
a  liar;  but  when  1  come  square  up  to  him  I  don't  know 
what  else  to  call  him,  if  I  must  tell  the  truth  out.  I 
want  to  be  at  peace  and  reserve  all  my  fighting  powers 
for  necessary  occasions.  My  time,  now,  is  very  nearly 
out,  and  I  give  up  the  trifle  that  is  left  to  the  Judge, 
to  let  him  set  my  knees  trembling  again,  if  he  can. 


My  friends,  while  I  am  very  grateful  to  you  for  the 
enthusiasm  which  you  show  for  me,  I  will  say  in  all 
candor,  that  your  quietness  will  be  much  more  agree- 
able than  your  applause,  inasmuch  as  you  deprive  me 
of  some  part  of  my  time  whenever  you  cheer. 

I  will  commence  where  Mr.  Lincoln  left  off,  and  make 
a  remark  upon  this  serious  complaint  of  his  about  my 
speech  at  Joliet.  I  did  say  there  in  a  playful  manner 
that  when  I  put  these  questions  to  Mr.  Lincoln  at  Ot- 
tawa he  failed  to  answer,  and  that  he  trembled  and 
had  to  be  carried  off  the  stand,  and  required  seven 
days  to  get  up  his  reply.     That  he  did  not  walk  off 


from  that  stand,  he  will  not  deny.  That  when  the  crowd 
went  away  from  the  stand  with  me,  a  few  persons  carried 
him  home,  on  their  shoulders  and  laid  him  down,  he  will 
admit.  I  wish  to  say  to  you  that  whenever  I  degrade 
my  friends  and  myself  by  allowing  them  to  carry  me  on 
their  backs  along  through  the  public  streets,  when  I 
am  able  to  walk,  I  am  willing  to  be  deemed  crazy.  . .  . 
In  the  first  place,  Mr.  Lincoln  says  he  would  be 
exceedingly  sorry  to  be  put  in  a  position  where  he 
would  have  to  vote  on  the  question  of  the  admission 
of  a  Slave  State.  Why  is  he  a  candidate  for  the  Sen- 
ate if  he  would  be  sorry  to  be  put  in  that  position?  I 
trust  the  people  of  Illinois  will  not  put  him  in  a  posi- 
tion which  he  would  be  so  sorry  to  occupy.  The  next 
position  he  takes  is  that  he  would  be  glad  to  know  that 
there  would  never  be  another  Slave  State,  yet  in  cer- 
tain contingencies,  he  might  have  to  vote  for  one. 
What  is  that  contingency?  **If  Congress  keeps  slavery 
out  by  law  while  it  is  a  Territory,  and  then  the  people 
should  have  a  fair  chance  and  should  adopt  slavery, 
uninfluenced  by  the  presence  of  the  institution,"  he 
supposed  he  would  have  to  admit  the  State.  Suppose 
Congress  should  not  keep  slavery  out  during  their  ter- 
ritorial existence,  then  how  would  he  vote  when  the 
people  applied  for  admission  into  the  Union  with  a 
slave  constitution?  That  he  does  not  answer;  and  that 
is  the  condition  of  every  Territory  we  have  now  got. 
Slavery  is  not  kept  out  of  Kansas  by  act  of  Congress; 
and  when  I  put  the  question  to  Mr.  Lincoln,  whether 
he  will  vote  for  the  admission  with  or  without  slavery, 
as  her  people  may  desire,  he  will  not  answer,  and  you 
have  not  got  an  answer  from  him.     In  Nebraska,  slav- 


ery  is  not  prohibited  by  act  of  Congress,  but  the  people 
are  allowed,  under  the  Nebraska  bill,  to  do  as  they 
please  on  the  subject;  and  when  I  ask  him  whether  he 
will  vote  to  admit  Nebraska  with  a  slave  constitution 
if  her  people  desire  it,  he  will  not  answer.  So  with 
New  Mexico,  Washington  Territory,  Arizona,  and  the 
four  new  States  to  be  admitted  from  Texas. ^  You 
cannot  get  an  answer  from  him  to  these  questions. 
His  answer  only  applies  to  a  given  case,  to  a  condition, 
— things  which  he  knows  do  not  exist  in  any  one  Ter- 
ritory in  the  Union.  He  tries  to  give  you  to  under- 
stand that  he  would  allow  the  people  to  do  as  they 
please,  and  yet  he  dodges  the  question  as  to  every  Ter- 
ritory in  the  Union.  I  now  ask  why  cannot  Mr.  Lin- 
coln answer  as  to  each  of  these  Territories?  He  has  not 
done  it,  and  he  will  not  do  it.  The  Abolitionists  up 
North  understand  that  this  answer  is  made  with  a  view 
of  not  committing  himself  on  any  one  Territory  now 
in  existence.  It  is  so  understood  there,  and  you  can- 
not expect  an  answer  from  him  on  a  case  that  applies 
to  any  one  Territory,  or  applies  to  the  new  States  which 
by  compact  we  are  pledged  to  admit  out  of  Texas, 
when  they  have  the  requisite  population  and  desire  ad- 
mission. I  submit  to  you  whether  he  has  made  a  frank 
answer,  so  that  you  can  tell  how  he  would  vote  in  any 
one  of  these  cases.  "He  would  be  sorry  to  be  put  in 
the  position."  Why  would  he  be  sorry  to  be  put  in 
this  position,  if  his  duty  required  him  to  give  the  vote? 
If  the  people  of  a  Territory  ought  to  be  permitted  to 
come   into  the  Union  as  a  State,  with  slavery  or  with- 

1.  When  Texas  was  admitted  to  the  Union  in  1846,  it  was  provided  that  ad- 
ditional States,  not  exceeding  four  in  number,  might  be  formed  from  it, 
with  its  consent.    This  condition  was  not  jsivaiJed  of. 


out  it,  as  they  pleased,  why  not  give  the  vote  admit- 
ting them,  cheerfully?  If  in  his  opinion  they  ought 
not  to  come  in  with  slavery,  even  if  they  wanted  to, 
why  not  say  that  he  would  cheerfully  vote  against 
their  admission?  His  intimation  is  that  conscience 
would  not  let  him  vote  "No,"  and  he  would  be  sorry 
to  do  that  which  his  conscience  would  compel  him  to 
do  as  an  honest  man .... 

But  Mr.  Lincoln  does  not  want  to  be  held  responsible 
for  the  Black  Republican  doctrine  of  no  more  Slave 
States.  Farnsworth  is  the  candidate  of  his  party  to- 
day in  the  Chicago  District,  and  he  made  a  speech  in 
the  last  Congress  in  which  he  called  upon  God  to  palsy 
his  right  arm  if  he  ever  voted  for  the  admission  of  an- 
other Slave  State,  whether  the  people  wanted  it  or  not. 
Lovejoy  is  making  speeches  all  over  the  State  for  Lin- 
coln now,  and  taking  ground  against  any  more  Slave 
States.  Washburne,  the  Black  Republican  candidate 
for  Congress  in  the  Galena  District,  is  making  speeches 
in  favor  of  this  same  Abolition  platform,  declaring  no 
more  Slave  States.  Why  are  men  running  for  Con- 
gress in  the  northern  districts,  and  taking  that  Aboli- 
tion platform  for  their  guide,  when  Mr.  Lincoln  does 
not  want  to  be  held  to  it  down  here  in  Egypt  and  in 
the  center  of  the  State,  and  objects  to  it  so  as  to  get 
votes  here?  Let  me  tell  Mr.  Lincoln  that  his  party  in 
the  northern  part  of  the  State  hold  to  that  Abolition 
platform,  and  that  if  they  do  not  in  the  south  and  in 
the  center,  they  present  the  extraordinary  spectacle  of 
a  * 'house  divided  against  itself,"  and  hence  * 'cannot 
stand."  I  now  bring  do.wn  upon  him  the  vengeance 
of  his  own  Scriptural  quotation,   and  give  it  a  more 


appropriate  application  than  he  did,  when  I  say  to  him 
that  his  party,  Abolition  in  one  end  of  the  State  and 
opposed  to  it  in  the  other,  is  a  house  divided  against 
its^f ,  and  cannot  stand,  and  ought  not  to  stand,  for  it 
attempts  to  cheat  the  American  people  out  of  their 
votes  by  disguising  its  sentiments.  .  .  . 

I  was  not  born  out  West  here.  I  was  born  away  down 
in  Yankee  land.  I  was  born  in  a  valley  in  Vermont, 
with  the  high  mountains  around  me.  I  love  the  old  green 
mountains  and  valleys  of  Vermont,  where  I  was  born, 
and  where  I  played  in  my  childhood.  I  went  up  to 
visit  them  some  seven  or  eight  years  ago,  for  the  first 
time  for  twenty-odd  years.  When  I  got  there  they 
treated  me  very  kindly.  They  invited  me  to  the  com- 
mencement of  their  college,  placed  me  on  the  seats 
with  their  distinguished  guests,  and  conferred  upon 
me  the  degree  of  LL.D.,  in  Latin  (doctor  of  laws), — 
the  same  as  they  did  Old  Hickory,  at  Cambridge,  many 
years  ago;  and  I  give  you  my  word  and  honor  I  under- 
stand just  as  much  of  Latin  as  he  did.  When  they 
got  through  conferring  the  honorary  degree,  they  called 
upon  me  for  a  speech;  and  I  got  up,  with  my  heart 
full  and  swelling  with  gratitude  for  their  kindness, 
and  I  said  to  them,  *'My  friends,  Vermont  is  the  most 
glorious  spot  on  the  face  of  this  globe  for  a  man  to  be 
born  in,  provided  he  emigrates  when  he  is  very  young." 
I  emigrated  when  I  was  very  young.  I  came  out  here 
when  I  was  a  boy,  and  I  found  my  mind  liberalized,  and 
my  opinions  enlarged,  when  I  got  on  these  broad  prair- 
ies, with  only  the  heavens  to  bound  my  vision,  instead  of 
having  them  circumscribed  by  the  little  narrow  ridges 
that  surrounded  the  valley  where  I  was  born.  ., 


Mr.  Lincoln  has  framed  another  question,  propounded 
it  to  me,  and  desired  my  answer. ...  It  is  as  follows: 
**If  the  slaveholding  citizens  of  a  United  States  Terri- 
tory should  need  and  demand  Congressional  legislation 
for  the  protection  of  their  slave  property  in  such  Ter- 
ritory, would  you,  as  a  member  of  Congress,  vote  for 
or  against  such  legislation?"  I  answer  him  that  it  is 
a  fundamental  article  in  the  Democratic  creed  that 
there  should  be  non-interference  and  non-intervention 
by  Congress  with  slavery  in  the  States  or  Territories. 
Mr.  Lincoln  could  have  found  an  answer  to  his  ques- 
tion in  the  Cincinnati  platform,  if  he  had  desired  it. 
The  Democratic  party  has  always  stood  by  that  great 
principle  of  non-interference  and  non-intervention  by 
Congress  with  slavery  in  the  States  and  Territories 
alike,  and  I  stand  on  that  platform  now. 

Now,  I  desire  to  call  your  attention  to  the  fact  that 
Lincoln  did  not  define  his  own  position  in  his  own  ques- 
tion. How  does  he  stand  on  that  question?  He  put 
the  question  to  me  at  Freeport  whether  or  not  I  would 
vote  to  admit  Kansas  into  the  Union  before  she  had 
93,420  inhabitants.  I  answered  him  at  once  that,  it 
having  been  decided  that  Kansas  had  now  population 
enough  for  a  Slave  State,  she  had  population  enough 
for  a  Free  State. 

I  answered  the  question  unequivocally;  and  then  I 
asked  him  whether  he  would  vote  for  or  against  the 
admission  of  Kansas  before  she  had  93,420  inhabitants, 
and  he  would  not  answer  me.  To-day  he  has  called  at- 
tention to  the  fact  that,  in  his  opinion,  my  answer  on 
that  question  was  not  quite  plain  enough,  and  yet  he 
has  not  answered  it  himself.     He  now  puts  a  question 


in  relation  to  the  Congressional  interference  in  the 
Territories  to  me.  I  answer  him  direct,  and  he  has 
not  answered  the  question  himself.  I  ask  you  whether 
a  man  has  any  right,  in  common  decency,  to  put  ques- 
tions in  these  public  discussions,  to  his  opponent,  which 
he  will  not  answer  himself,  when  they  are  pressed 
home  to  him.  I  have  asked  him  three  times  whether 
he  would  vote  to  admit  Kansas  whenever  the  people 
applied  with  a  Constitution  of  their  own  making,  and 
their  own  adoption,  under  circumstances  that  were  fair, 
just,  and  unexceptionable;  but  I  cannot  get  an  answer 
from  him.  Nor  will  he  answer  the  question  which  he 
put  to  me,  and  which  I  have  just  answered,  in  relation 
to  Congressional  interference  in  the  Territories,  by 
making  a  slave  code  there. 

It  is  true  that  he  goes  on  to  answer  the  question  by 
arguing  that  under  the  decision  of  the  Supreme  Court 
it  is  the  duty  of  a  man  to  vote  for  a  slave  code  in  the 
Territories.  He  says  that  it  is  his  duty,  under  the  de- 
cision that  the  court  has  made;  and  if  he  believes  in 
that  decision  he  would  be  a  perjured  man  if  he  did  not 
give  the  vote.  I  want  to  know  whether  he  is  not  bound 
to  a  decision  which  is  contrary  to  his  opinions  just  as 
much  as  to  one  in  accordance  with  his  opinions.  If 
the  decision  of  the  Supreme  Court,  the  tribunal  created 
by  the  Constitution  to  decide  the  question,  is  final  and 
binding,  is  he  not  bound  by  it  just  as  strongly  as  if  he 
was  for  it  instead  of  against  it,  originally?  Is  every 
man  in  this  land  allowed  to  resist  decisions  he  does  not 
like,  and  only  support  those  that  meet  his  approval? 
What  are  important  courts  worth,  unless  their  decisions 
are  binding  on  all  good  citizens?    It  is  the  fundamental 


principle  of  the  judiciary  that  its  decisions  are  final. 
It  is  created  for  that  purpose;  so  that  when  you  can- 
not agree  among  yourselves  on  a  disputed  point  you 
appeal  to  the  judicial  tribunal,  which  steps  in  and  de- 
cides for  you,  and  that  decision  is  then  binding  on  ev- 
ery good  citizen.  It  is  the  law  of  the  land  just  as 
much  with  Mr.  Lincoln  against  it  as  for  it.  And  yet 
he  says  that  if  that  decision  is  binding  he  is  a  perjured 
man  if  he  does  not  vote  for  a  slave  code  in  the  differ- 
ent Territories  of  this  Union.  Well,  if  you  (turning 
to  Mr.  Lincoln)  are  not  going  to  resist  the  decision, 
if  you  obey  it,  and  do  not  intend  to  array  mob  law 
against  the  constituted  authorities,  then,  according  to 
your  own  statement,  you  will  be  a  perjured  man  if 
you  do  not  vote  to  establish  slavery  in  these  Territo- 
ries. My  doctrine  is,  that  even  taking  Mr.  Lincoln's 
view  that  the  decision  recognizes  the  right  of  a  man 
to  carry  his  slaves  into  the  Territories  of  the  United 
States  if  he  pleases,  yet  after  he  gets  there  he  needs 
affirmative  law  to  make  that  right  of  any  value.  The 
same  doctrine  not  only  applies  to  slave  property,  but 
all  other  kinds  of  property.  Chief  Justice  Taney^ 
places  it  upon  the  ground  that  glave  property  is  on  an 
equal  footing  with  other  property.  Suppose  one  of 
your  merchants  should  move  to  Kansas  and  open  a  liquor 
store;  'he  has  a  right  to  take  groceries  and  liquors 
there;  but  the  mode  of  selling  them,  and  the  circum- 
stances under  which  they  shall  be  sold,  and  all  the 
remedies,  must  be  prescribed  by  local  legislation;  and 

1.  Roger  B.  Taney  (pronounced  Taw'ny)  was  the  Chief  Justice  of  the 
United  States  Supreme  Court  who  wrote  the  decision  that  Dred  Scott  con- 
tinued to  be  a  slave  after  having  resided  in  free  territory. 


if  that  is  unfriendly  it  will  drive  him  out  just  as  effec- 
tually as  if  there  was  a  constitutional  provision  against 
the  sale  of  liquor.  So  the  absence  of  local  legislation 
to  encourage  and  support  slave  property  in  a  Territory 
excludes  it  practically  just  as  effectually  as  if  there 


Scene  at  One  of  the  Lincoln-Douglas  Debates 

was  a  positive  Constitutional  provision  against  it. 
Hence,  I  assert  that  under  the  Dred  Scott  decision  you 
cannot  maintain  slavery  a  day  in  a  Territory  where 
there  is  an  unwilling  people  and  unfriendly  legislation. 
If  the  people  are  opposed  to  it,  our  right  is  a  barren, 
worthless,   useless  right;    and  if  they  are  for  it,  they 


will  support  and  encourage  it.  We  come  right  back, 
therefore,  to  the  practical  question,  if  the  people  of  a 
Territory  want  slavery  they  will  have  it,  and  if  they 
do  not  want  it,  you  cannot  force  it  on  them.  And  this 
is  the  practical  question,  the  great  principle,  upon 
which  our  institutions  rest.  I  am  willing  to  take  the 
decision  of  the  Supreme  Court  as  it  was  pronounced  by 
that  august  tribunal,  without  stopping  to  inquire 
whether  I  would  have  decided  that  way  or  not. ...  In 
a  government  of  laws,  like  ours,  we  must  sustain  the 
Constitution  as  our  fathers  made  it,  and  maintain  the 
rights  of  the  States  as  they  are  guaranteed  under  the 
Constitution;  and  then  we  will  have  peace  and  harmony 
between  the  different  States  and  sections  of  this  glo- 
rious Union. 



Charleston,  September  18,   1858 


Ladies  and  Gentlemen:  It  will  be  very  difficult  for 
an  audience  so  large  as  this  to  hear  distinctly  what  a 
speaker  says,  and  consequently  it  is  important  that  as 
profound  silence  be  preserved  as  possible. 

While  I  was  at  the  hotel  to-day,  an  elderly  gentle- 
man called  upon  me  to  know  whether  I  was  really  in 
favor  of  producing  perfect  equality  between  the  negroes 
and  white  people.  While  I  had  not  proposed  to  myself 
on  this  occasion  to  say  much  on  that  subject,  yet  as  the 
question  was  asked  me,  I  thought  I  would  occupy  per- 
haps five  minutes  in  saying  something  in  regard  to  it. 
I  will  say  then  that  I  am  not,  nor  ever  have  been,  in 
favor  of  bringing  about  in  any  way  the  social  and  po- 
litical equality  of  the  white  and  black  races;  that  I  am 
not,  nor  ever  have  been,  in  favor  of  making  voters  or 
jurors  of  negroes,  nor  of  qualifying  them  to  hold  office, 
nor  to  intermarry  with  white  people;  and  I  will  say  in 
addition  to  this  that  there  is  a  physical  difference  be- 
tween the  white  and  black  races  which  I  believe  will 
forever  forbid  the  two  races  living  together  on  terms 
of  social  and  political  equality.  And  inasmuch  as  they 
cannot  so  live,  while  they  do  remain  together  there  must 
be  the  position  of  superior  and  inferior,  and  I,  as  much 


as  any  other  man,  am  in  favor  of  having  the  superior 
position  assigned  to  the  white  race.  I  say  upon  this 
occasion  I  do  not  perceive  that  because  the  white  man 
is  to  have  the  superior  position,  the  negro  should  be 
denied  everything.  I  do  not  understand  that  because 
I  do  not  want  a  negro  woman  for  a  slave  I  must  neces- 
sarily want  her  for  a  wife.  My  understanding  is  that 
I  can  just  let  her  alone.  I  am  now  in  my  fiftieth  year, 
and  I  certainly  never  had  a  black  woman  for  either  a 
slave  or  a  wife.  So  it  seems  to  me  quite  possible  for 
us  to  get  along  without  making  either  slaves  or  wives 
of  negroes.  . . .  But  as  Judge  Douglas  and  his  friends 
seem  to  be  in  great  apprehension  that  they  might,  if 
there  were  no  law  to  keep  them  from  it,  I  give  the 
most  solemn  pledge  that  I  will,  to  the  very  last,  stand 
by  the  law  of  this  State,  which  forbids  the  marrying 
of  white  people  with  negroes.  I  will  add  one  further 
word,  which  is  this:  that  I  do  not  understand  that 
there  is  any  place  where  an  alteration  of  the  social  and 
political  relations  of  the  negro  and  the  white  man  can 
be  made,  except  in  the  State  Legislature, — not  in  the 
Congress  of  the  United  States;  and  as  I  do  not  really 
apprehend  the  approach  of  any  such  thing  myself,  and 
as  Judge  Douglas  seems  to  be  in  constant  horror  that 
some  such  danger  is  rapidly  approaching,  I  propose  as 
the  best  means  to  prevent  it,  that  the  Judge  be  kept  at 
home  and  placed  in  the  State  Legislature  to  fight  the 
measure.  I  do  not  propose  dwelling  longer  at  this  time 
on  this  subject. 



Ladies  and  Gentlemen:  I  had  supposed  that  we  as- 
sembled here  to-day  for  the  purpose  of  a  joint  discus- 
sion between  Mr.  Lincoln  and  myself,  upon  the  polit- 
ical questions  that  now  agitate  the  whole  country. 
The  rule  of  such  discussions  is,  that  the  opening  speaker 
shall  touch  upon  all  the  points  he  intends  to  discuss,  in 
order  that  his  opponent,  in  reply,  shall  have  the  oppor- 
tunity of  answering  them.  Let  me  ask  you,  what  ques- 
tions of  public  policy,  relating  to  the  welfare  of  this 
State  or  the  Union,  has  Mr.  Lincoln  discussed  before 
you?  Mr.  Lincoln  simply  contented  himself  at  the 
outset  by  saying  that  he  was  not  in  favor  of  social  and 
political  equality  between  the  white  man  and  the  ne- 
gro, and  did  not  desire  the  law  so  changed  as  to  make 
the  latter  voters  or  eligible  to  office.  I  am  glad  that 
I  have  at  last  succeeded  in  getting  an  answer  out  of 
him  upon  this  question  of  negro  citizenship  and  eligi- 
bility to  office,  for  I  have  been  trying  to  bring  him  to 
the  point  on  it  ever  since  this  canvass  commenced.  .  .  . 

Fellow-citizens,  I  came  here  for  the  purpose  of  dis- 
cussing tlie  leading  political  topics  which  now  agitate 
the  country.  I  have  no  charges  to  make  against  Mr. 
Lincoln,  none  against  Mr.  Trumbull,  and  none  against 
any  man  who  is  a  candidate,  except  in  repelling  their 
assaults  upon  me.  If  Mr.  Lincoln  is  a  man  of  bad  char- 
acter, I  leave  you  to  find  it  out;  if  his  votes  in  the  past 
are  not  satisfactory,  I  leave  others  to  ascertain  the  fact; 
if  his  course  on  the  Mexican  War  was  not  in  accordance 
with  your  notions  of  patriotism  and  fidelity  to  our  own 
country  as  against  a  public  enemy,  I  leave  you  to  as- 
certain the  fact.    I  have  no  assaults  to  make  upon  him, 


except  to  trace  his  course  on  the  questions  that  now  di- 
vide the  country  and  engross  so  much  of  the  people's 
attention.  .  .  . 

I  canvassed  the  State  that  year  from  the  time  I  re- 
turned home  until  the  election^  came  off,  and  spoke  in 
every  county  that  I  could  reach  during  that  period. 
In  the  northern  part  of  the  State  I  found  Lincoln's  ally, 
in  the  person  of  Fred  Douglass's,  the  negro,  preaching 
Abolition  doctrines,  while  Lincoln  was  discussing  the 
same  principles  down  here,  and  Trumbull,  a  little  far- 
ther down,  was  advocating  the  election  of  members  to 
the  Legislature  whowouldact  in  concert  with  Lincoln's 
and  Fred  Douglass's  friends.  I  witnessed  an  effort 
made  at  Chicago  by  Lincoln's  then  associates,  and 
now  supporters,  to  put  Fred  Douglass,  the  negro,  on  the 
stand  at  a  Democratic  meeting,  to  reply  to  the  illus- 
trious General  Cass,^  when  he  was  addressing  the  peo- 
ple there.  They  had  the  same  negro  hunting  me  down, 
and  they  now  have  a  negro  traversing  the  northern 
counties  of  the  State  and  speaking  in  behalf  of  Lin- 
coln. Lincoln  knows  that  when  we  were  at  Freeport 
in  joint  discussion  there  was  a  distinguished  colored 
friend  of  his  there  then,  who  was  on  the  stump  for  him, 
and  who  made  a  speech  there  the  night  before  we 
spoke,  and  another  the  night  after,  a  short  distance 
from  Freeport,  in  favor  of  Lincoln;  and  in  order  to 
show  how  much  interest  the  colored  brethren  felt  in 
the  success  of  their  brother  Abe,  I  have  with  me  here, 
and  would  read  it  if  it  would  not  occupy  too  much  of 

1.  The  State  Legislative  election  of  1834. 

2.  Lewis  Cass,  Michigan,  Democrat,  was  Seci-etary  of  State  under  President 
Buchanan,  but  resigned  when  Buchanan  refused  to  reinforce  Major  Ander- 
son at  Fort  Sumter. 


my  time,  a  speech  made  by  Fred  Douglass  in  Pough- 
keepsie,  N.  Y.,  a  short  time  since,  to  a  large  conven- 
tion, in  which  he  conjures  all  the  friends  of  negro 
equality  and  negro  citizenship  to  rally  as  one  man 
around  Abraham  Lincoln,  the  perfect  embodiment  of 
their  principles,  and  by  all  means  to  defeat  Stephen 
A.  Douglas.  .  . . 

And  now  I  will  explain  to  you  what  has  been  a  mys- 
tery all  over  the  State  and  Union, — the  reason  why 
Lincoln  was  nominated  for  the  United  States  Senate  by 
the  Black  Republican  Convention.  You  know  it  has 
never  been  usual  for  any  party,  or  any  convention,  to 
nominate  a  candidate  for  United  States  Senator.  Prob- 
ably this  was  the  first  time  that  such  a  thing  was  ever 
done.  The  Black  Republican  Convention  had  not  been 
called  for  that  purpose,  but  to  nominate  a  State  ticket, 
and  every  man  was  surprised,  and  many  disgusted,  when 
Lincoln  was  nominated.  .  .  .  He  received  the  nomina- 
tion unanimously,  by  a  resolution  declaring  that  Abra- 
ham Lincoln  was  *'the  first,  last,  and  only  choice"  of 
the  Republican  party.  How  did  this  occur?  Why,  be- 
cause they  could  not  get  Lincoln's  friends  to  make  an- 
other bargain  with  "rogues,"  unless  the  whole  party 
would  come  up  as  one  man  and  pledge  their  honor  that 
they  would  stand  by  Lincoln  first,  last,  and  all  the  time, 
and  that  he  should  not  be  cheated  by  Lovejoy  this  time, 
as  he  was  by  Trumbull  before.  Thus,  by  passing  this 
resolution,  the  Abolitionists  are  all  for  him,  Lovejoy 
and  Farnsworth^  are  canvassing  for  him,  Giddings"  is 

1.  John  F.  Farnsworth,  a  Republican  member  of  Congress  from  Illinois. 

2.  Joshua  R.  Giddings,  member  of  Congress  from  Ohio,  and  prominent  as 
an  opponent  of  slavery. 


ready  to  come  here  in  his  behalf,  and  the  negro  speak- 
ers are  already  on  the  stump  for  him,  and  he  is  sure 
not  to  be  cheated  this  time.  He  would  not  go  into  the 
arrangement  until  he  got  their  bond  for  it,  and  Trum- 
bull is  compelled  now  to  take  the  stump,  get  up  false 
charges  against  me,  and  travel  all  over  the  State  to 
try  and  elect  Lincoln,  in  order  to  keep  Lincoln's  friends 
quiet  about  the  bargain  in  which  Trumbull  cheated 
them  four  years  ago.  You  see,  now,  why  it  is  that 
Lincoln  and  Trumbull  are  so  mighty  fond  of  each  other. 
They  have  entered  into  a  conspiracy  to  break  me  down 
by  these  assaults  on  my  public  character,  in  order  to 
draw  my  attention  from  a  fair  exposure  of  the  mode 
in  which  they  attempted  to  Abolitionize  the  old  Whig 
and  the  old  Democratic  parties,  and  lead  them  captive 
into  the  Abolition  camp.  .  .  . 

["The  party  does  not  call  itself  Black  Republican  in 
the  North.''] 

Sir,  if  you  will  get  a  copy  of  the  paper  published  at 
Waukegan,  fifty  miles  from  Chicago,  which  advocates 
the  election  of  Mr.  Lincoln,  and  has  his  name  flying  at  its 
masthead,  you  will  find  that  it  declares  that  "this  paper 
is  devoted  to  the  cause"  of  Black  Republicanism.  .  .  . 

I  am  told  that  I  have  eight  minutes  more.  I  would 
like  to  talk  to  you  an  hour  and  a  half  longer,  but  I  will 
make  the  best  use  I  can  of  the  remaining  eight  min- 
utes. Mr.  Lincoln  said  in  his  first  remarks  that  he 
was  not  in  favor  of  the  social  and  political  equality  of 
the  negro  with  the  white  man.  Everywhere  up  north 
he  had  declared  that  he  was  not  in  favor  of  the  social 
and  political  equality  of  the  negro,  but  he  would  not 
say  whether  or  not  he  was  opposed  to  negroes  voting, 


and  negro  citizenship.  I  want  to  know  whether  he  is 
for  or  against  negro  citizenship.  He  declared  his  ut- 
ter opposition  to  the  Dred  Scott  decision,  and  advanced 
as  a  reason  that  the  court  had  decided  that  it  was  not 
possible  for  a  negro  to  be  a  citizen  under  the  Consti- 
tution of  the  United  States.  If  he  is  opposed  to  the 
Dred  Scott  decision  for  that  reason,  he  must  be  in  fa- 
vor of  conferring  the  right  and  privilege  of  citizenship 
upon  the  negro.  I  have  been  trying  to  get  an  answer 
from  him  on  that  point,  but  have  never  yet  obtained 
one. . . . 


Fellow-citizens :  It  follows  as  a  matter  of  course  that 
a  lialf-hour  answer  to  a  speech  of  an  hour  and  a  half 
can  be  but  a  very  hurried  one.  I  shall  only  be  able  to 
touch  upon  a  few  of  the  points  suggested  by  Judge 
Douglas,  and  give  them  a  brief  attention,  while  I  shall 
have  to  totally  omit  others  for  the  want  of  time. 

Judge  Douglas  has  said  to  you  that  he  has  not  been 
able  to  get  from  me  an  answer  to  the  question  whether 
I  am  in  favor  of  negro  citizenship.  So  far  as  I  know, 
the  Judge  never  asked  me  the  question  before.  He 
shall  have  no  occasion  to  ever  ask  it  again,  for  I  tell 
him  very  frankly  that  I  am  not  in  favor  of  negro  citi- 
zenship. This  furnishes  me  an  occasion  for  saying  a 
few  words  upon  the  subject.  I  mentioned,  in  a  certain 
speech  of  mine  which  has  been  printed,  that  the  Su- 
preme Court  had  decided  that  a  negro  could  not  possi- 
bly be  made  a  citizen;  and  without  saying  what  was 
my  ground  of  complaint  in  regard  to  that,  or  whether 


1  had  any  ground  of  complaint,  Judge  Douglas  has 
from  that  thing  manufactured  nearly  everything  that 
he  ever  says  about  my  disposition  to  produce  an 
equality  between  the  negroes  and  the  white  people.  If 
anyone  will  read  my  speech,  he  will  find  I  mentioned 
that  as  one  of  .the  points  decided  in  the  course  of  the 
Supreme  Court  opinions,  but  I  did  not  state  what  ob- 
jection I  had  to  it.  But  Judge  Douglas  tells  the  people 
what  my  objection  was,  when  I  did  not  tell  them  my- 
self. Now,  my  opinion  is,  that  the  different  States 
have  the  power  to  make  a  negro  a  citizen  under  the 
Constitution  of  the  United  States,  if  they  choose.  The 
Dred  Scott  decision  decides  that  they  have  not  that 
power.  If  the  State  of  Illinois  had  that  power,  I  should 
be  opposed  to  the  exercise  of  it.  That  is  all  I  have  to 
say  about  it. 

Judge  Douglas  has  told  me  that  he  heard  my  speeches 
north,  and  my  speeches  south;  that  he  had  heard  me 
at  Ottawa  and  at  Freeport  in  the  north,  and  recently 
at  Jonesboro  in  the  south,  and  there  was  a  very  differ- 
ent cast  of  sentiment  in  the  speeches  made  at  the  differ- 
ent points.  I  will  not  charge  upon  Judge  Douglas  that 
he  wilfully  misrepresents  me,  but  I  call  upon  every 
fair-minded  man  to  take  these  speeches  and  read  them, 
and  I  dare  him  to  point  out  any  difference  between  my 
speeches  north  and  south.  While  I  am  here  perhaps  I 
ought  to  say  a  word,  if  I  have  the  time,  in  regard  to 
the  latter  portion  of  the  Judge's  speech,  which  was  a 
sort  of  declamation  in  reference  to  my  having  said  I 
entertained  the  belief  that  this  Government  would  not 
endure,  half  slave  and  half  free.  I  have  said  so,  and 
I  did  not  say  it  without  what  seemed  to  me  to  be  good 


reasons.  It  perhaps  would  require  more  time  than  I 
have  now  to  set  forth  these  reasons  in  detail;  but  let 
me  ask  you  a  few  questions.  Have  we  ever  had  any 
peace  on  this  slavery  question?  When  are  we  to  have 
peace  upon  it,  if  it  is  kept  in  the  position  it  now  occu- 
pies? How  are  we  ever  to  have  peace  .upon  it?  That 
is  an  important  question.  To  be  sure,  if  we  will  all 
stop,  and  allow  Judge  Douglas  and  his  friends  to 
march  on  in  their  present  career  until  they  plant  the 
institution  all  over  the  nation,  here,  and  wherever  else 
our  flag  waves,  and  we  acquiesce  in  it,  there  will  be 
peace.  But  let  me  ask  Judge  Douglas  how  he  is  going 
to  get  the  people  to  do  that?  They  have  been  wran- 
gling over  this  question  for  at  least  forty  years.  This 
was  the  cause  of  the  agitation  resulting  in  the  Missouri 
Compromise;  this  produced  the  troubles  at  the  annex- 
ation of  Texas,  in  the  acquisition  of  the  territory  ac- 
quired in  the  Mexican  War.  Again,  this  was  the 
trouble  which  was  quieted  by  the  Compromise  of  1850, 
when  it  was  settled  * 'forever,"  as  both  the  great  po- 
litical parties  declared  in  their  National  Conventions. 
That  "forever"  turned  out  to  be  just  four  years,  when 
Judge  Douglas  himself  reopened  it.  When  is  it  likely 
to  come  to  an  end?  He  introduced  the  Nebraska  bill 
in  1854  to  put  another  end  to  the  slavery  agitation. 
He  promised  that  it  would  finish  it  all  up  immediately, 
and  he  has  never  made  a  speech  since,  until  he  got  into 
a  quarrel  with  the  President  about  the  Lecompton 
Constitution,^  in  which  he  has  not  declared  that  we 

1.  Some  citizens  of  Kansas  Territory,  in  1857,  held  a  convention  at  Lecomp- 
ton and  formed  a  constitution,  upon  which  the  anti-slavery  people  refused  to 
vote.  Although  adopted  "with  slavery,"  Congress  accepted  the  Constitution  ; 
but  it  was  not  put  into  effect  by  the  people  of  the  territory. 


are  just  at  the  end  of  the  slavery  agitation.  But  in 
one  speech,  I  think  last  winter,  he  did  say  that  he 
didn't  quite  see  when  the  end  of  the  slavery  agitation 
would  come.  Now  he  tells  us  again  that  it  is  all  over, 
and  the  people  of  Kansas  have  voted  down  the  Lecomp- 
ton  Constitution.  How  is  it  over?  That  was  only  one 
of  the  attempts  at  putting  an  end  to  the  slavery  agita- 
tion,— one  of  those  * 'final  settlements."  Is  Kansas  in 
the  Union?  Has  she  formed  a  constitution  that  she  is 
likely  to  come  in  under?  Is  not  the  slavery  agitation 
still  an  open  question  in  that  Territory?  Has  the  vot- 
ing down  of  that  constitution  put  an  end  to  all  the 
trouble?  Is  that  more  likely  to  settle  it  than  every 
one  of  these  previous  attempts  to  settle  the  slavery 
agitation?  Now,  at  this  day  in  the  history  of  the 
world,  we  can  no  more  foretell  where  the  end  of  this 
slavery  agitation  will  be  than  we  can  see  the  end  of 
the  world  itself.  The  Nebraska-Kansas  bilH  was  in- 
troduced four  years  and  a  half  ago,  and  if  the  agita- 
tion is  ever  to  come  to  an  end,  we  may  say  we  are  four 
years  and  a  half  nearer  the  end.  So,  too,  we  can  say 
we  are  four  years  and  a  half  nearer  the  end  of  the 
world;  and  we  can  just  as  clearly  see  the  end  of  the 
world  as  we  can  see  the  end  of  this  agitation.  The 
Kansas  settlement  did  not  conclude  it.  If  Kansas 
should  sink  to-day,  and  leave  a  great  vacant  space  in 
the  earth's  surface,  this  vexed  question  would  still  be 
among  us.  I  say,  then,  there  is  no  way  of  putting  an 
end  to  the  slavery  agitation  amongst  us,  but  to  put  it 

1.  In  1854,  Congress  passed  an  act  to  divide  Nebraska  into  two  Territories, 
leaving  the  people  of  each  Territory  to  decide  whether  they  would  come  into 
the  Union  as  a  slave  or  a  free  State.    This  was  "squatter  sovereignty." 


back  upon  the  basis  where  our  fathers  placed  it;  no 
way  but  to  keep  it  out  of  our  new  Territories, — to  re- 
strict it  forever  to  the  old  States  where  it  now  exists. 
Then  the  public  mind  will  rest  in  the  belief  that  it  is 
in  the  course  of  ultimate  extinction.  That  is  one  way 
of  putting  an  end  to  the  slavery  agitation. 

The  other  way  is  for  us  to  surrender,  and  let  Judge 
Douglas  and  his  friends  have  their  way  and  plant  slav- 
ery over  all  the  States;  cease  speaking  of  it  as  in  any 
way  a  wrong;  regard  slavery  as  one  of  the  common 
matters  of  property,  and  speak  of  negroes  as  we  do  of 
our  horses  and  cattle.  But  while  it  drives  on  in  its 
state  of  progress  as  it  is  now  driving,  and  as  it  has 
driven  for  the  last  five  years,  I  have  ventured  the  opin- 
ion, and  I  say  to-day,  that  we  will  have  no  end  to  the 
slavery  agitation  until  it  takes  one  turn  or  the  other .... 

My  colleague  says  he  is  willing  to  stand  on  his  pub- 
lic record.  By  that  he  shall  be  tried;  and  if  he  had 
been  able  to  discriminate  between  the  exposure  of  a 
public  act  by  the  record,  and  a  personal  attack  upon 
the  individual,  he  would  have  discovered  that  there 
was  nothing  personal  in  my  Chicago  remarks,  unless 
the  condemnation  of  himself  by  his  own  public  record 
is  personal;  and  then  you  must  judge  who  is  most  to 
blame  for  the  torture  his  public  record  inflicts  upon 
him:  he  for  making,  or  I  for  reading  it  after  it  was 
made.  As  an  individual  I  care  very  little  about  Judge 
Douglas  one  way  or  the  other.  It  is  his  public  acts 
with  which  I  have  to  do,  and  if  they  condemn,  dis- 
grace, and  consign  him  to  oblivion,  he  has  only  him- 
self, not  me,  to  blame. . . . 



Galesburg,  October  7,  1858 


Ladies  and  Gentlemen :  Four  years  ago  I  appeared 
before  the  people  of  Knox  County^  for  the  purpose  of 
defending  my  political  action  upon  the  Compromise 
measures  of  1850  and  the  passage  of  the  Kansas-Ne- 
braska bill.  Those  of  you  before  me  who  were  pres- 
ent then  will  remember  that  I  vindicated  myself  for 
supporting  those  two  measures  by  the  fact  that  they 
rested  upon  the  great  fundamental  principle  that  the 
people  of  each  State  and  each  Territory  of  this  Union 
have  the  right,  and  ought  to  be  permitted  to  exercise 
the  right,  of  regulating  their  own  domestic  concerns 
in  their  own  way,  subject  to  no  other  limitation  or 
restriction  than  that  which  the  Constitution  of  the 
United  States  imposes  upon  them.  I  then  called  upon 
the  people  of  Illinois  to  decide  whether  that  principle 
of  self-government  was  right  or  wrong.  If  it  was  and 
is  right,  then  the  Compromise  measures  of  1850  were 
right,  and,  consequently,  the  Kansas  and  Nebraska  bill, 
based  upon  the  same  prnciple  must  necessarily  have 
been  right.  .  .  . 

[''Good  for  Lincoln."] 

Fellow-citizens,  here  you  find  men  hurrahing  for  Lin- 

1.  Galesburg  is  the  county  seat  of  Knox  county,  Illinois, 


coin,  and  saying  that  he  did  right,  when  in  one  part  of 
the  State  he  stood  up  for  negro  equality,  and  in  another 
part,  for  political  effect,  discarded  the  doctrine,  and  de- 
clared that  there  always  must  be  a  superior  and  in- 
ferior race.  ^  Abolitionists  up  north  are  expected  and 
required  to  vote  for  Lincoln,  because  he  goes  for  the 
equality  of  the  races,  holding  that  by  the  Declaration  of 
Independence  the  white  man  and  the  negro  were  created 
equal,  and  endowed  by  the  divine  law  with  that  equal- 
ity; and  down  south  he  tells  the  old  Whigs,  the  Ken- 
tuckians,  Virginians,  and  Tennesseans,  that  there  is  a 
physical  difference  in  the  races,  making  one  superior 
and  the  other  inferior,  and  that  he  is  in  favor  of  main- 
taining the  superiority  of  the  white  race  over  the  ne- 
gro. Now,  how  can  you  reconcile  those  two  positions 
of  Mr.  Lincoln?  He  is  to  be  voted  for  in  the  south  as 
a  pro-slavery  man,  and  he  is  to  be  voted  for  in  the 
north  as  an  Abolitionist. '  Up  here  he  thinks  it  is  all 
nonsense  to  talk  about  a  difference  between  the  races, 
and  says  that  we  must  * 'discard  all  quibbling  about 
this  race  and  that  race  and  the  other  race  being  in- 
ferior, and  therefore  they  must  be  placed  in  an  inferior 
position.'*  Down  south  he  makes  this  "quibble" 
about  this  race  and  that  race  and  the  other  race  being 
inferior  as  the  creed  of  his  party,  and  declares  that  the 
negro  can  never  be  elevated  to  the  position  of  the 
white  man. ... 

I  tell  you  that  this  Chicago  doctrine  of  Lincoln's — 
declaring  that  the  negro  and  the  white  man  are  made 
equal  by  the  Declaration  of  Independence  and  by  Di- 
vine Providence — is  a  monstrous  heresy.  The  signers 
of  the  Declaration  of  Independence  never  dreamed  of 


the  negro  when  they  were  writing  that  document. 
They  referred  to  white  men,  to  men  of  European  birth 
and  European  descent,  when  they  declared  the  equality 
of  all  men.  I  see  a  gentleman  there  in  the  crowd  shak- 
ing his  head.  Let  me  remind  him  that  when  Thomas 
Jefferson  wrote  that  document,  he  was  the  owner,  and 
so  continued  until  his  death,  of  a  large  number  of 
slaves.  Did  he  intend  to  say  in  that  Declaration,  that 
his  negro  slaves,  which  he  held  and  treated  as  prop- 
erty, were  created  his  equals  by  divine  law,  and  that 
he  was  violating  the  law  of  God  every  day  of  his  life 
by  holding  them  as  slaves?  It  must  be  borne  in  mind 
that  when  that  Declaration  was  put  forth,  every  one 
of  the  thirteen  Colonies  were  slaveholding  Colonies, 
and  every  man  who  signed  that  instrument  represented 
a  slaveholding  constituency.  Recollect,  also,  that  no 
one  of  them  emancipated  his  slaves,  much  less  put  them 
on  an  equality  with  himself,  after  he  signed  the  Dec- 
laration. On  the  contrary,  they  all  continued  to  hold 
their  negroes  as  slaves  during  the  Revolutionary  War. 
Now,  do  you  believe — are  you  willing  to  have  it  said — 
that  every  man  who  signed  the  Declaration  of  Inde- 
pendence declared  the  negro  his  equal,  and  then  was 
hypocrite  enough  to  continue  to  hold  him  as  a  slave, 
in  violation  of  what  he  believed  to  be  the  divine  law? 
And  yet  when  you  say  that  the  Declaration  of  Inde- 
pendence includes  the  negro,  you  charge  the  signers  of 
it  with  hypocrisy. 

I  say  to  you,  frankly,  that  in  my  opinion,  this  Gov- 
ernment was  made  by  our  fathers  on  the  white  basis. 
It  was  made  by  white  men  for  the  benefit  of  white  men 
and  their  posterity  forever,  and  was  intended  to  be  ad- 


ministered  by  white  men  in  all  time  to  come.  But 
while  I  hold  that  under  our  Constitution  and  political 
system  the  negro  is  not  a  citizen,  cannot  be  a  citizen, 
and  ought  not  to  be  a  citizen,  it  does  not  follow  by 
any  means  that  he  should  be  a  slave.  On  the  contrary, 
it  does  follow  that  the  negro,  as  an  inferior  race,  ought 
to  possess  every  right,  every  privilege,  every  immunity 
which  he  can  safely  exercise,  consistent  with  the  safety 
of  the  society  in  which  he  lives.  Humanity  requires, 
and  Christianity  commands,  that  you  shall  extend  to 
every  inferior  being,  and  every  dependent  being,  all 
the  privileges,  immunities,  and  advantages  which  can 
be  granted  to  them,  consistent  with  the  safety  of  so- 
ciety. If  you  ask  me  the  nature  and  extent  of  these 
privileges,  I  answer  that  that  is  a  question  which  the 
people  of  each  State  must  decide  for  themselves.  Il- 
linois has  decided  that  question  for  herself.  We  have 
said  that  in  this  State  the  negro  shall  not  be  a  slave, 
nor  shall  he  be  a  citizen.  Kentucky  holds  a  different 
doctrine.  New  York  holds  one  different  from  either, 
and  Maine  one  different  from  all.  Virginia,  in  her 
policy  on  this  question,  differs  in  many  respects  from 
the  others,  and  so  on,  until  there  are  hardly  two  States 
whose  policy  is  exactly  alike  in  regard  to  the  relation 
of  the  white  man  and  the  negro.  Nor  can  you  recon- 
cile them  and  make  them  alike.  Each  State  must  do 
as  it  pleases.  Illinois  had  as  much  right  to  adopt  the 
policy  which  we  have  on  that  subject  as  Kentucky  had 
to  adopt  a  different  policy.  The  great  principle  of 
this  Government  is,  that  each  State  has  the  right  to  do 
as  it  pleases  on  all  these  questions,  and  no  other  State 
or  power  on  earth  has  the  right  to  interfere  with  us, 


or  complain  of  us  merely  because  our  system  differs 
from  theirs.  In  the  Compromise  measures  of  1850, 
Mr.  Clay  declared  that  this  great  principle  ought  to 
exist  in  the  Territories  as  well  as  in  the  States,  and  I 
reasserted  his  doctrine  in  the  Kansas  and  Nebraska 
bill  in  1854. 

But  Mr.  Lincoln  cannot  be  made  to  understand.,  and 
those  who  are  determined  to  vote  for  him,  no  matter 
whether  he  is  a  pro-slavery  man  in  the  South  and  a  ne- 
gro equality  advocate  in  the  North,  cannot  be  made  to 
understand  how  it  is  that  in  a  Territory  the  people  can 
do  as  they  please  on  the  slavery  question  under  the 
Dred  Scott  decision.  Let  us  see  whether  I  cannot  ex- 
plain it  to  the  satisfaction  of  all  impartial  men.  Chief 
Justice  Taney  has  said  in  his  opinion  in  the  Dred  Scott 
case,  that  a  negro  slave  being  property,  stands  on  an 
equal  footing  with  other  property,  and  that  the  owner 
may  carry  them  into  United  States  territory  the  same 
as  he  does  other  property.  Suppose  any  two  of  you, 
neighbors,  should  conclude  to  go  to  Kansas,  one  carry- 
ing $100,000  worth  of  negro  slaves,  and  the  other 
$100,000  worth  of  mixed  merchandise,  including  quan- 
tities of  liquors.  You  both  agree  that  under  that  de- 
cision you  may  carry  your  property  to  Kansas.  But 
when  you  get  there,  the  merchant  who  is  possessed  of 
the  liquors  is  met  by  the  Maine  liquor  law,  which  pro- 
hibits the  sale  or  use  of  his  property,  and  the  owner  of 
the  slaves  is  met  by  equally  unfriendly  legislation, 
which  makes  his  property  worthless  after  he  gets  it 
there.  What  is  the  right  to  carry  your  property  into 
the  Territory  worth  to  either,  when  unfriendly  legis- 
lation in  the  Territory  renders  it  worthless  after  you 


get  it  there.  The  slaveholder  when  he  gets  his  slaves 
there  finds  that  there  is  no  local  law  to  protect  him  in 
holding  them,  no  slave  code,  no  police  regulation  main- 
taining and  supporting  him  in  his  right;  and  he  dis- 
covers at  once  that  the  absence  of  such  friendly  legisla- 
tion excludes  his  property  from  the  Territory,  just  as 
irresistibly  as  if  there  was  a  positive  Constitutional 
prohibtion  excluding  it.  Thus  you  find  it  is  with  any 
kind  of  property  in  a  Territory,  it  depends  for  its  pro- 
tection on  the  local  and  municipal  law.  If  the  people 
of  a  Territory  want  slavery,  they  make  friendly  legis- 
lation to  introduce  it,  but  if  they  do  not  want  it,  they 
withhold  all  protection  from  it,  and  then  it  cannot 
exist  there.  Such  was  the  view  taken  on  the  subject  by 
different  Southern  men  when  the  Nebraska  bill  passed. 
See  the  speech  of  Mr.  Orr,^  of  South  Carolina,  the 
present  Speaker  of  the  House  of  Representatives  of 
Congress,  made  at  that  time,  and  there  you  will  find 
this  whole  doctrine  argued  out  at  full  length.  Read 
the  speeches  of  other  Southern  Congressmen,  Senators 
and  Representatives,  made  in  1854,  and  you  will  find 
that  they  took  the  same  view  of  the  subject  as  Mr. 
Orr, — that  slavery  could  never  be  forced  on  a  people 
who  did  not  want  it.  I  hold  that  in  this  country  there 
is  no  power  on  the  face  of  the  globe  that  can  force  any 
institution  on  an  unwilling  people.  The  great  funda- 
mental principle  of  our  Government  is  that  the  people 
of  each  State  and  each  Territory  shall  be  left  perfectly 
free  to  decide  for  themselves  what  shall  be  the  nature 
and  character  of  their  institutions.     When  this  Gov- 

1.  J.  L.  Orr,  of  South  Carolina,  a  Democrat,  was  a  devoted  friend  of  the 
Union  and  opposed  to  both  nullification  and  secession. 


ernment  was  made,  it  was  based  on  that  principle.  At 
the  time  of  its  formation  there  were  twelve  slavehold- 
ing  States  and  one  Free  State  in  this  Union.  Suppose 
this  doctrine  of  Mr.  Lincoln  and  the  Republicans,  of 
uniformity  of  laws  of  all  the  States  on  the  subject  of 
slavery,  had  prevailed;  suppose  Mr.  Lincoln  himself 
had  been  a  member  of  the  Convention  which  framed 
the  Constitution,  and  that  he  had  risen  in  that  august 
body,  and  addressing  the  Father  of  his  Country,  had 
said,  as  he  did  at  Springfield: — 

A  house  divided  against  itself  cannot  stand.  I  believe 
this  Government  cannot  endure  permanently,  half  slave  and 
half  free.  I  do  not  expect  the  Union  to  be  dissolved,  I  do 
not  expect  the  house  to  fall,  but  I  do  expect  it  will  cease  to 
be  divided.     It  will  become  all  one  thing  or  all  the  other. 

What  do  you  think  would  have  been  the  result?  Sup- 
pose he  had  made  that  convention  believe  that  doc- 
trine, and  they  had  acted  upon  it,  what  do  you  think 
would  have  been  the  result?  Do  you  believe  that  the 
one  Free  State  would  have  outvoted  the  twelve  slave- 
holding  States,  and  thus  abolish  slavery?  On  the  con- 
trary, would  not  the  twelve  slaveholding  States  have 
outvoted  the  one  Free  State,  and  under  his  doctrine 
have  fastened  slavery  by  an  irrevocable  constitutional 
provision  upon  every  inch  of  the  American  Republic? 
Thus  you  see  that  the  doctrine  he  now  advocates,  if 
proclaimed  at  the  beginning  of  the  Government,  would 
have  established  slavery  everywhere  throughout  the 
American  Continent;  and  are  you  willing,  now  that 
we  have  the  majority  section,  to  exercise  a  power 
which  we  never  would  have  submitted  to  when  we  were 
in  the  minority?    If  the  Southern  States  had  attempted 


to  control  our  institutions,  and  make  the  States  all 
slave  when  they  had  the  power,  I  ask,  would  you  have 
submitted  to  it?  If  you  would  not,  are  you  willing, 
now  that  we  have  become  the  strongest,  under  that  great 
principle  of  self-government  that  allows  each  State  to 
do  as  it  pleases,  to  attempt  to  control  the  Southern  in- 
stitutions? Then,  my  friends,  I  say  to  you  that  there 
is  but  one  path  of  peace  in  this  Republic,  and  that  is 
to  administer  this  Government  as  our  fathers  made  it, 
divided  into  Free  and  Slave  States,  allowing  each  State 
to  decide  for  itself  whether  it  wants  slavery  or  not. 
If  Illinois  will  settle  the  slavery  question  for  herself, 
and  mind  her  own  business,  and  let  her  neighbors  alone, 
we  will  be  at  peace  with  Kentucky  and  every  other 
Southern  State.  If  every  other  State  in  the  Union 
will  do  the  same,  there  will  be  peace  between  the  North 
and  the  South,  and  in  the  whole  Union. 


The  Judge  has  alluded  to  the  Declaration  of  Inde- 
pendence, and  insisted  that  negroes  are  not  included 
in  that  Declaration;  and  that  it  is  a  slander  upon  the 
framers  of  that  instrument  to  suppose  that  negroes 
were  meant  therein;  and  he  asks  you:  Is  it  possible  to 
believe  that  Mr.  Jefferson,  who  penned  the  immortal 
paper,  could  have  supposed  himself  applying  the  lan- 
guage of  that  instrument  to  the  negro  race,  and  yet 
held  a  portion  of  that  race  in  slavery?  Would  he  not 
at  once  have  freed  them?  I  only  have  to  remark  upon 
this  part  of  the  Judge's  speech  (and  that,  too,  very 
briefly,  for  I  shall  not  detain  myself,  or  you,  upon  that 


point  for  any  great  length  of  time),  that  I  believe  the 
entire  records  of  the  world,  from  the  date  of  the  Dec- 
laration of  Independence  up  to  within  three  years  ago, 
may  be  searched  in  vain  for  one  single  affirmation,  from 
one  single  man,  that  the  negro  was  not  included  in  the 
Declaration  of  Independence;  I  think  I  may  defy  Judge 
Douglas  to  show  that  he  ever  said  so,  that  Washington 
ever  said  so,  that  any  President  ever  said  so,  that  any 
member  of  Congress  ever  said  so,  or  that  any  living 
man  upon  the  whole  earth  ever  said  so,  until  the  neces- 
sities of  the  present  policy  of  the  Democratic  party,  in 
regard  to  slavery,  had  to  invent  that  affirmation.  And 
I  will  remind  Judge  Douglas  and  this  audience  that 
while  Mr.  Jefferson  was  the  owner  of  slaves,  as  un- 
doubtedly he  was,  in  speaking  upon  this  very  subject 
he  used  the  strong  language  that  *'he  trembled  for  his 
country  when  he  remembered  that  God  was  just;"  and 
I  will  offer  the  highest  premium  in  my  power  to  Judge 
Douglas  if  he  will  show  that  he,  in  all  his  life,  ever 
uttered  a  sentiment  at  all  akin  to  that  of  Jefferson .... 
Now  a  few  words  in  regard  to  these  extracts  from 
speeches  of  mine,  which  Judge  Douglas  has  read  to 
you,  and  which  he  supposes  are  in  very  great  contrast 
to  each  other.  Those  speeches  have  been  before  the 
public  for  a  considerable  time,  and  if  they  have  any 
inconsistency  in  them,  if  there  is  any  conflict  in  them, 
the  public  have  been  able  to  detect  it.  When  the 
Judge  says,  in  speaking  on  this  subject,  that  I  make 
speeches  of  one  sort  for  the  people  of  the  northern  end 
of  the  State,  and  of  a  different  sort  for  the  southern 
people,  he  assumes  that  I  do  not  understand  that  my 
speeches  will  be  put  in  print  and  read  North  and  South. 


I  knew  all  the  while  that  the  speech  that  I  made  at 
Chicago,  and  the  one  I  made  at  Jonesboro  and  the  one 
at  Charleston,  woul;i  all  be  put  in  print,  and  all  the 
reading  and  intelligent  men- in  the  community  would 
see  them  and  know  all  about  my  opinions.  And  I  have 
not  supposed,  and  do  not  now  suppose,  that  there  is 
any  conflict  whatever  between  them.  But  the  Judge 
will  have  it  that  if  we  do  not  confess  that  there  is  a 
sort  of  inequality  between  the  white  and  black  races, 
which  justifies  us  in  making  them  slaves,  we  must  then 
insist  that  there  is  a  degree  of  equality  that  requires 
us  to  make  them  our  wives.  Now,  I  have  all  the  while 
taken  a  broad  distinction  in  regard  to  that  matter;  and 
that  is  all  there  is  in  these  different  speeches  which 
he  arrays  here;  and  the  entire  reading  of  either  of  the 
speeches  will  show  that  that  distinction  was  made. 
Perhaps  by  taking  two  parts  of  the  same  speech  he 
could  have  got  up  as  much  of  a  conflict  as  the  one  he 
has  found.  I  have  all  the  while  maintained  that  in  so 
far  as  it  should  be  insisted  that  there  was  an  equality 
between  the  white  and  black  races  that  should  produce 
a  perfect  social  and  political  equality,  it  was  an  im- 
possibility. This  you  have  seen  in  my  printed  speeches, 
and  with  it  I  have  said,  that  in  their  right  to  **life, 
liberty,  and  the  pursuit  of  happiness,"  as  proclaimed  in 
that  old  Declaration,  the  inferior  races  are  our  equals. 
And  these  declarations  I  have  constantly  made  in  refer- 
ence to  the  abstract  moral  question,  to  contemplate  and 
consider  when  we  are  legislating  about  any  new  coun- 
try which  is  not  already  cursed  with  the  actual  pres- 
ence of  the  evil, — slavery.  I  have  never  manifested 
any  impatience  with  the  necessities  that  spring  from 


the  acLial  existence  of  slavery  amongst  us  where  it 
dpes  already  exist;  but  I  have  insisted  that,  in  legis- 
lating for  new  countries  where  it  does  not  exist,  there 
is  no  just  rule  other  than  that  of  moral  and  abstract 
right!  With  reference  to  those  new  countries,  those 
maxims  as  to  the  right  of  a  people  to  *'life,  liberty, 
and  the  pursuit  of  happiness,'^  were  the  just  rules  to 
be  constantly  referred  to.  There  is  no  misunderstand- 
ing this,  except  by  men  interested  to  misunderstand 
it.  I  take  it  that  I  have  to  address  an  intelligent  and 
reading  community,  who  will  peruse  what  I  say,  weigh 
it,  and  then  judge  whether  I  advance  improper  or  un- 
sound views,  or  whether  I  advance  hypocritical,  and 
deceptive,  and  contrary  views  in  different  portions  of 
the  country.  I  believe  myself  to  be  guilty  of  no  such 
thing  as  the  latter,  though  of  course,  I  cannot  claim 
that  I  am  entirely  free  from  all  error  in  the  opinions  I 

The  Judge  has  also  detained  us  a  while  in  regard  to 
the  distinction  between  his  party  and  our  party.  His 
he  assumes  to  be  a  national  party, — ours  a  sectional 
one.  He  does  this  in  asking  the  question  whether  this 
country  has  any  interest  in  the  maintenance  of  the 
Republican  party.  He  assumes  that  our  party  is  al- 
together sectional, — that  the  party  to  which  he  adheres 
is  national;  and  the  argument  is,  that  no  party  can  be 
a  rightful  party — can  be  based  upon  rightful  princi- 
ples— unless  it  can  announce  its  principles  everywhere. 
I  presume  that  Judge  Douglas  could  not  go  into  Russia 
and  announce  the  doctrine  of  our  national  Democracy; 
he  could  not  denounce  the  doctrine  of  kings  and  em- 
perors and  monarchies  in  Russia;  and  it  may  be  true 


of  this  country,  that  in  some  places  we  may  not  be  able 
to  proclaim  a  doctrine  as  clearly  true  as  the  truth  of 
Democracy,  because  there  is  a  section  so  directly  op- 
posed to  it  that  they  will  not  tolerate  us  in  doing  so. 
Is  it  the  true  test  of  the  soundness  of  a  doctrine  that  in 
some  places  people  won't  let  you  proclaim  it?  Is  that 
the  way  to  test  the  tfuth  of  any  doctrine?  Why,  I  un- 
derstood that  one  time  the  people  of  Chciago  would  not 
let  Judge  Douglas  preach  a  certain  favorite  doctrine 
of  his.  I  commend  to  his  consideration  the  question, 
whether  he  takes  that  as  a  test  of  the  unsoundness  of 
what  he  wanted  to  preach .... 

We  have  a  Republican  State  platform,  laid  down  in 
Springfield,  in  June  last,  stating  our  position  all  the 
way  through  on  the  questions  before  the  country.  We 
are  now  far  advanced  in  this  canvass.  Judge  Douglas 
and  I  have  made  perhaps  forty  speeches  apiece,  and  we 
have  now  for  the  fifth  time  met  face  to  face  in  debate, 
and  up  to  this  day  I  have  not  found  either  Judge  Doug- 
las or  any  friend  of  his  taking  hold  of  the  Republican 
platform,  or  laying  his  finger  upon  anything  in  it  that 
is  wrong.  I  ask  you  all  to  recollect  that.  Judge 
Douglas  turns  away  from  the  platform  of  principles  to 
the  fact  that  he  can  find  people  somewhere  who  will 
not  allow  us  to  announce  those  principles.  If  he  had 
great  confidence  that  our  principles  were  wrong,  he 
would  take  hold  of  them  and  demonstrate  them  to  be 
wrong.  But  he  does  not  do  so.  The  only  evidence  he 
has  of  their  being  wrong  is  in  the  fact  that  there  are 
people  who  won't  allow  us  to  preach  them.  I  ask 
again,  is  that  the  way  to  test  the  soundness  of  a  doctrine? 

I  ask  his  attention  also  to  the  fact  that  by  the  rule 


of  nationality  he  is  himself  fast  becoming  sectional.  I 
ask  his  attention  to  the  fact  that  his  speeches  would 
not  go  as  current  now  south  of  the  Ohio  river  as  they 
have  formerly  gone  there.  I  ask  his  attention  to  the 
fact  that  he  felicitates  him.self  to-day  that  all  the  Dem- 
ocrats of  the  Free  States  are  agreeing  with  him,  while 
he  omits  to  tell  us  that  the  Democrats  of  any  Slave 
State  agree  with  him.  If  he  has  not  thought  of  this, 
I  commend  to  his  consideration  the  evidence  in  his  own 
declaration,  on  this  day,  of  his  becoming  sectional  too. 
I  see  it  rapidly  approaching.  Whatever  may  be  the 
result  of  this  ephemeral  contest  between  Judge  Douglas 
and  myself,  I  see  the  day  rapidly  approaching  when  his 
pill  of  sectionalism,  which  he  has  been  thrusting  down 
the  throats  of  Republicans  for  years  past,  will  be 
crowded  down  his  own  throat.  ^ 

Now,  in  regard  to  what  Judge  Douglas  said  (in  the 
beginning  of  his  speech)  about  the  Compromise  of  1850 
containing  The  principle  of  the  Nebraska  bill,  although 
I  have  often  presented  my  views  upon  that  subject,  yet 
as  I  have  not  done  so  in  this  canvass,  I  will,  if  you 
please,  detain  you  a  little  with  them.  I  have  always 
maintained,  so  far  as  I  was  able,  that  there  was  nothing 
of  the  principle  of  the  Nebraska  bill  in  the  Compro- 
mise of  1850  at  all, — nothing  whatever.  Where  can 
you  find  the  principle  of  the  Nebraska  bill  in  the  Com- 
promise? If  anywhere,  in  the  two  pieces  of  the  Com- 
promise organizing  the  Territories  of  New  Mexico  and 
Utah.  It  was  expressly  provided  in  these  two  Acts, 
that,  when  they  came  to  be  admitted  into  the  Union, 
they  should  be  admitted  with  or  without  slavery,  as 
they  should  choose  by  their  own  constitutions.     Noth- 


ing  was  said  in  either  of  those  Acts  as  to  what  was  to 
be  done  in  relation  to  slavery  during  the  territorial  ex- 
istence of  those  Territories,  while  Henry  Clay  constantly 
made  the  declaration  (Judge  Douglas  recognizing  him 
as  a  leader)  that,  in  his  opinion,  the  old  Mexican  laws 
would  control  that  question  during  the  territorial  ex- 
istence, and  that  these  old  Mexican  laws  excluded 
slavery.  How  can  that  be  used  as  a  principle  for  de- 
claring that  during  the  territorial  existence  as  well  as  at 
the  time  of  framing  the  Constitution,  the  people,  if  you 
please,  might  have  slaves  if  they  wanted  them?  I  am 
not  discussing  the  question  whether  it  is  right  or 
wrong;  but  how  are  the  New  Mexican  and  Utah  laws 
patterns  for  the  Nebraska  bill?  I  maintain  that  the 
organization  of  Utah  and  New  Mexico  did  not  estab- 
lish a  general  principle  at  all.  It  had  no  feature  of 
establishing  a  general  principle.  The  Acts  to  which  I 
have  referred  were  a  part  of  a  general  system  of  Com- 
promises. They  did  not  lay  down  what  was  proposed 
as  a  regular  policy  for  the  Territories,  only  an  agree- 
ment in  this  particular  case  to  do  in  that  way,  because 
other  things  were  done  that  were  to  be  a  compensation 
for  it.  They  were  allowed  to  come  in  in  that  shape, 
because  in  another  way  it  was  paid  for, — considering 
that  as  a  part  of  that  system  of  measures  called  the 
Compromise  of  1850,  which  finally  included  half  a  dozen 
Acts.  It  included  the  admission  of  California  as  a  Free 
State,  which  was  kept  out  of  the  Union  for  a  half  a 
year  because  it  had  formed  a  free  Constitution.  It  in- 
cluded the  settlement  of  the  boundary  of  Texas,  which 
had  been  undefined  before,  which  was  in  itself  a  slavery 
question;  for  if  you  pushed  the  line  farther  west,  you 


made  Texas  larger,  and  made  more  slave  territory; 
while,  if  you  drew  the  line  toward  the  east,  you  nar- 
rowed the  boundary  and  diminished  the  domain  of 
slavery,  and  by  so  much  increased  free  territory.  It 
included  the  abolition  of  the  slave  trade  in  the  District 
of  Columbia.  It  included  the  passage  of  a  new  Fugi- 
tive Slave  law.  All  these  things  were  put  together, 
and  though  passed  in  separate  Acts,  were  nevertheless, 
in  legislation  (as  the  speeches  at  the  time  will  show), 
made  to  depend  upon  each  other.  Each  got  votes,  with 
the  understanding  that  the  other  measures  were  to 
pass,  and  by  this  system  of  compromise  in  that  series 
of  measures,  those  two  bills — the  New  Mexico  and  Utah 
bills — were  passed ;  and  I  say  for  that  reason  they  could 
not  be  taken  as  models,  framed  upon  their  own  intrin- 
sic principle,  for  all  future  Territories.  And  I  have 
the  evidence  of  this  in  the  fact  that  Judge  Douglas,  a 
year  afterward,  or  more  than  a  year  afterward,  per- 
haps, when  he  first  introduced  bills  for  the  purpose  of 
framing  new  Territories,  did  not  attempt  to  follow 
these  bills  of  New  Mexico  and  Utah;  and  even  when 
he  introduced  this  Nebraska  bill,  I  think  you  will  dis- 
cover that  he  did  not  exactly  follow  them.  But  I  do 
not  wish  to  dwell  at  great  length  upon  this  branch  of 
the  discussion.  My  own  opinion  is,  that  a  thorough 
investigation  will  show  most  plainly  that  the  New 
Mexico  and  Utah  bills  were  part  of  a  system  of  com- 
promise, and  not  designed  as  patterns  for  future  Terri- 
torial legislation;  and  that  this  Nebraska  bill  did  not 
follow  them  as  a  pattern  at  all.  .  .  . 

While  we  were  at  Freeport,  in  one  of  these  joint 
discussions,  I  answered  certain  interrogatories  which 


Judge  Douglas  had  propounded  to  me,  and  then  in  turn 
propounded  some  to  him  which  he  in  a  sort  of  way 
answered.  The  third  one  of  these  interrogatories  1 
have  with  me  and  wish  now  to  make  some  comments 
upon  it.  It  was  in  these  words :  " If  the  Supreme  Court 
of  the  United  States  shall  decide  that  the  States  cannot 
exclude  slavery  from  their  limits,  are  you  in  favor  of 
acquiescing  in,  adhering  to,  and  following  such  deci- 
sion, as  a  rule  of  political  action?" 

To  this  interrogatory  Judge  Douglas  made  no  answer 
in  any  just  sense  of  the  word.  He  contented  himself 
with  sneering  at  the  thought  that  it  was  possible  for 
the  Supreine  Court  ever  to  make  such  a  decision.  He 
sneered  at  me  for  propounding  the  interrogatory.  I 
had  not  propounded  it  without  some  reflection,  and  1 
wish  now  to  address  to  this  audience  some  remarks 
upon  it. 

In  the  second  clause  of  the  sixth  article,  I  believe  it 
is,  of  the  Constitution  of  the  United  States,  we  find  the 
following  language:  *This  Constitution  and  the  laws 
of  the  United  States  which  shall  be  made  in  pursuance 
thereof;  and  all  treaties  made,  or  which  shall  be  made, 
under  the  authority  of  the  United  States,  shall  be  the 
supreme  law  of  the  land;  and  the  judges  in  every  State 
shall  be  bound  thereby,  anything  in  the  Constitution  or 
laws  of  any  State  to  the  contrary,  notwithstanding." 

The  essence  of  the  Dred  Scott  case  is  compressed  into 
the  sentence  which  I  will  now  read:  **Now,  as  we  have 
already  said  in  an  earlier  part  of  this  opinion,  upon  a 
different  point,  the  right  of  property  in  a  slave  is  dis- 
tinctly and  expressly  affirmed  in  the  Constitution."  I 
repeat  it;  "The  right  of  property  in  a  slave  is  distinctly 


and  expressly  affirmed  in  the  Constitution!'*  What  is 
it  to  be  "affirmed**  in  the  Constitution?  Made  firm  in 
the  Constitution, — so  made  that  it  cannot  be  separated 
from  the  Constitution  without  breaking  the  Constitu- 
tion; durable  as  the  Constitution,  and  part  of  the  Con- 
stitution. Now,  remembering  the  provision  of  the 
Constitution  which  I  have  read;  affirming  that  that  in- 
strument is  the  supreme  law  of  the  land;  that  the 
judges  of  every  State  shall  be  bound  by  it,  any  law  or 
Constitution  of  any  State  to  the  contrary,  notwithstand- 
ing; that  the  right  of  property  in  a  slave  is  affirmed 
in  that  Constitution,  is  made,  formed  into,  and  cannot 
be  separated  from  it  without  breaking  it;  durable  as 
the  instrument;  part  of  the  instrument; — what  follows 
as  a  short  and  even  syllogistic  argument  from  it?  I 
think  it  follows,  and  I  submit  to  the  consideration  of 
men  capable  of  arguing,  whether  as  I  state  it  in  syl- 
logistic form  the  argument  has  any  fault  in  it: 

Nothing  in  the  Constitution  or  laws  of  any  State  can 
destroy  a  right  distinctly  and  expressly  affirmed  in  the 
Constitution  of  the  United  States. 

The  right  of  property  in  a  slave  is  distinctly  and  ex- 
pressly affirmed  in  the  Constitution  of  the  United  States. 

Therefore,  nothing  in  the  Constitution  or  laws  of  any 
State  can  destroy  the  right  of  property  in  a  slave. 

I  believe  that  no  fault  can  be  pointed  out  in  that 
argument;  assuming  the  truth  of  the  premises,  the 
conclusion,  so  far  as  I  have  capacity  at  all  to  under- 
stand it,  follows  inevitably.  There  is  a  fault  in  it,  as 
I  think,  but  the  fault  is  not  in  the  reasoning;  but  the 
falsehood  in  fact  is  a  fault  of  the  premises.  I  believe 
that  the  right  of  property  in  a  slave  is  not  distinctly 


and  expressly  affirmed  in  the  Constitution,  and  Judge 
Douglas  thinks  it  is.  I  believe  that  the  Supreme  Court 
and  the  advocates  of  that  decision  may  search  in  vain 
for  the  place  in  the  Constitution  where  the  right  of  a 
slave  is  distinctly  and  expressly  affirmed.  I  say,  there- 
fore, that  I  think  one  of  the  premises  is  not  true  in 
fact.  But  it  is  true  with  Judge  Douglas.  It  is  true 
with  the  Supreme  Court  who  pronounced  it.  They  are 
estopped  from  denying  it,  and  being  estopped  from  deny- 
ing it  the  conclusion  follows  that,  the  Constitution  of 
the  United  States  being  the  supreme  law,  no  constitu- 
tion or  law  can  interfere  with  it.  It  being  affirmed 
in  the  decision  that  the  right  of  property  in  a  slave  is 
distinctly  and  expressly  affirmed  in  the  Constitution, 
the  conclusion  inevitably  follows  that  no  State  law  or 
constitution  can  destroy  that  right.  I  then  say  to  Judge 
Douglas  and  to  all  others,  that  I  think  it  will  take  a 
better  answer  than  a  sneer  to  show  that  those  who  have 
said  that  the  right  of  property  in  a  slave  is  distinctly 
and  expressly  affirmed  in  the  Constitution,  are  not  pre- 
pared to  show  that  no  constitution  or  law  can  destroy 
that  right. . .  . 

I  proposed  to  Judge  Douglas  another  interrogatory, 
which  was  correlative  to  that:  "Are  you  in  favor  of  ac- 
quiring additional  territory,  in  disregard  of  how  it 
may  affect  us  upon  the  slavery  question?'^  Judge 
Douglas  answered, — that  is,  in  his  own  way  he  an- 
swered it.  I  believe  that,  although  he  took  a  good 
many  words  to  answer  it,  it  was  a  little  more  fully  an- 
swered than  any  other.  The  substance  of  his  answer 
was,  that  this  country  would  continue  to  expand;  that 
it  would  need  additional  territory;  that  it  was  as  ab- 


surd  to  suppose  that  we  could  continue  upon  our  present 
territory,  enlarging  in  population  as  we  are,  as  it  would 
be  to  hoop  a  boy  twelve  years  of  age,  and  expect  him 
to  grow  to  man's  size  without  bursting  the  hoops.  I 
believe  it  was  something  like  that.  Consequently,  he 
was  in  favor  of  the  acquisition  of  further  territory,  as 
fast  as  we  might  need  it,  in  disregard  of  how  it  might 
affect  the  slavery  question.  I  do  not  say  this  as  giving 
his  exact  language,  but  he  said  so  substantially;  and 
he  would  leave  the  question  of  slavery  where  the  terri- 
tory was  acquired  to  be  settled  by  the  people  of  the 
acquired  territory.  [''That's  the  doctrine."]  Maybe 
it  is;  let  us  consider  that  for  a  while.  This  will  prob- 
ably, in  the  run  of  things,  become  one  of  the  concrete 
manifestations  of  this  slavery  question.  If  Judge 
Douglas's  policy  upon  this  question  succeeds,  and  gets 
fairly  settled  down,  until  all  opposition  is  crushed  out, 
the  next  thing  will  be  a  grab  for  the  territory  of  poor 
Mexico,  an  invasion  of  the  rich  lands  of  South  America, 
then  the  adjoining  islands  will  follow,  each  one  of 
which  promises  additional  slave-fields.  And  this  ques- 
tion is  to  be  left  to  the  people  of  those  countries  for 
settlement.  When  we  shall  get  Mexico,  I  don't  know 
whether  the  Judge  will  be  in  favor  of  the  Mexican 
people  that  we  get  with  it  settling  that  question  for 
themselves  and  all  others;  because  we  know  the  Judge 
has  a  great  horror  for  mongrels,  and  I  understand  that 
the  people  of  Mexico  are  most  decidedly  a  race  of 
mongrels.  I  understand  that  there  is  not  more  than 
one  person  there  out  of  eight  who  is  pure  white,  and  I 
suppose  from  the  Judge's  previous  declaration  that 
when  we  get  Mexico  or  any  considerable  portion  of  it. 


that  he  will  be  in  favor  of  these  mongrels  settling  the 
question,  which  would  bring  him  somewhat  into  collu- 
sion with  his  horror  of  an  inferior  race. 

It  is  to  be  remembered,  though,  that  this  power  of 
acquiring  additional  territory  is  a  power  confided  to 
the  President  and  Senate  of  the  United  States.  It  is  a 
power  not  under  the  control  of  the  representatives  of 
the  people  any  further  than  they,  the  President  and 
the  Senate,  can  be  considered  the  representatives  of 
the  people.  Let  me  illustrate  that  by  a  case  we  have 
in  our  history.  When  we  acquired  the  territory  from 
Mexico  in  the  Mexican  War,  the  House  of  Representa- 
tives, composed  of  the  immediate  representatives  of 
the  people,  all  the  time  insisted  that  the  territory  thus 
to  be  acquired  should  be  brought  in  upon  condition 
that  slavery  should  be  forever  prohibited  therein,  upon 
the  terms  and  in  the  language  that  slavery  had  been 
prohibited  from  coming  into  this  country.  This  was 
insisted  upon  constantly  and  never  failed  to  call  forth 
an  assurance  that  any  territory  thus  acquired  should 
have  that  prohibition  in  it,  so  far  as  the  House  of 
Representatives  was  concerned.  But  at  last  the  Presi- 
dent and  Senate  acquired  the  territory  without  asking 
the  House  of  Representatives  anything  about  it,  and 
took  it  without  that  prohibition.  They  have  the  power 
of  acquiring  territory  without  the  immediate  represent- 
atives of  the  people  being  called  upon  to  say  anything 
about  it  and  thus  furnishing  a  very  apt  and  powerful 
means  of  bringing  new  territory  into  the  Union,  and, 
when  it  is  once  brought  into  the  country,  involving  us 
anew  in  this  slavery  agitation.  It  is,  therefore,  as  I 
think,  a  very  important  question  for  the  consideration 


of  the  American  people,  whether  the  policy  of  bring- 
ing in  additional  territory,  without  considering  at  all 
how  it  will  operate  upon  the  safety  of  the  Union  in 
reference  to  this  one  great  disturbing  element  in  our 
national  politics,  shall  be  adopted  as  the  policy  of  the 
country.  You  will  bear  in  mind  that  it  is  to  be  ac- 
quired, according  to  the  Judge's  view,  as  fast  as  it  is 
needed,  and  the  indefinite  part  of  this  proposition  is 
that  we  have  only  Judge  Douglas  and  his  class  of  men 
to  decide  how  fast  it  is  needed.  We  have  no  clear  and 
certain  way  of  determining  or  demonstrating  how  fast 
territory  is  needed  by  the  necessities  of  the  country. 
Whoever  wants  to  go  out  filibustering,  then,  thinks 
that  more  territory  is  needed.  Whoever  wants  wider 
slave-fields,  feels  sure  that  some  additional  territory  is 
needed  as  slave  territory.  Then  it  is  as  easy  to  show 
the  necessity  of  additional  slave  territory  as  it  is  to 
assert  anything  that  is  incapable  of  absolute  demon^ 
stration.  Whatever  motive  a  man  or  a  set  of  men  may 
have  for  making  annexation  of  property  or  territory, 
it  is  very  easy  to  assert,  but  much  less  easy  to  disprove, 
that  it  is  necessary  for  the  wants  of  the  country.  .  .  . 


Mr.  Lincoln  asserts  to-day,  as  he  did  at  Chicago,  that 
the  negro  was  included  in  that  clause  of  the  Declara- 
tion of  Independence  which  says  that  all  men  were 
created  equal,  and  endowed  by  the  Creator  with  cer- 
tain inalienable  rights,  among  which  are  life,  liberty, 
and  the  pursuit  of  happiness.  If  the  negro  was  made 
his  equal  and  mine,  if  that  equality  was  established  by 


divine  law,  and  was  the  negro's  inalienable  right,  how 
came  he  to  say  at  Charleston  to  the  Kentuckians  resid- 
ing in  that  section  of  our  State,  that  the  negro  was 
physically  inferior  to  the  white  man,  belonged  to  an 
inferior  race,  and  he  was  for  keeping  him  always  in 
that  inferior  condition.  I  wish  you  to  bear  these 
things  in  mind.  At  Charleston  he  said  that  the  negro 
belonged  to  an  inferior  race,  and  that  he  was  for  keep- 
ing him  in  that  inferior  condition.  There  he  gave  the 
people  to  understand  that  there  was  no  moral  question 
involved,  because  the  inferiority  being  established  it 
was  only  a  question  of  degree,  and  not  a  question  of 
right;  here,  to-day,  instead  of  making  it  a  question  of 
degree,  he  makes  it  a  moral  question,  says  that  it  is  a 
great  crime  to  hold  the  negro  in  that  inferior  condi- 
tion. [''He's  right."]  Is  he  right  now,  or  was  he 
right  in  Charleston?  [''Both."]  He  is  right  then, 
sir,  in  your  estimation,  not  because  he  is  consistent, 
but  because  he  can  trim  his  principles  any  way,  in  any 
section,  so  as  to  secure  voters.  All  I  desire  of  him  is 
that  he  will  declare  the  same  principles  in  the  South 
that  he  does  in  the  North.  ... 

He  complains  because  I  did  not  go  into  an  argument 
reviewing  Chief  Justice  Taney's  opinion,  and  the  other 
opinions  of  the  different  judges,  to  determine  whether 
their  reasoning  is  right  or  wrong  on  the  questions  of 
law.  What  use  would  that  be?  He  wants  to  take  an 
appeal  from  the  Supreme  Court  to  this  meeting,  to  de- 
termine whether  the  questions  of  law  were  decided 
properly.  He  is  going  to  appeal  from  the  Supreme 
Court  of  the  United  States  to  every  town  meeting,  in 
the  hope  that  he  can  excite  a  prejudice  against  that 


court,  and  on  the  wave  of  that  prejudice  ride  into  the 
Senate  of  the  United  States,  when  he  could  not  get 
there  on  his  own  principles  or  his  own  merits.  Sup- 
pose he  should  succeed  in  getting-  into  the  Senate  of 
the  United  States,  what  then  will  he  have  to  do  with 
the  decision  of  the  Supreme  Court  in  the  Dred  Scott 
case?  Can  he  reverse  that  decision  when  he  gets  there? 
Can  he  act  upon  it?  Has  the  Senate  any  right  to  re- 
verse it  or  revise  it?  He  will  not  pretend  that  it  has. 
Then  why  drag  the  matter  into  this  contest,  unless  for 
the  purpose  of  making  a  false  issue,  by  which  he  can 
direct  public  attention  from  the  real  issue.  .  . 



Quincy,  October  13,  1858 


Ladies  and  Gentlemen:  I  have  had  no  immediate 
conference  with  Judge  Douglas,  but  I  will  venture  to 
say  that  he  and  I  will  perfectly  agree  that  your  entire 
silence,  both  when  I  speak  and  when  he  speaks,  will  be 
most  agreeable  to  us. . .  . 

When  the  Judge  says  he  would  n't  have  believed  of 
Abraham  Lincoln  that  he  would  have  made  such  an 
attempt  as  that,  he  reminds  me  of  the  fact  that  he  en- 
tered upon  this  canvass  with  the  purpose  to  treat  me 
courteously;  that  touched  me  somewhat.  It  sets  me 
to  thinking.  I  was  aware,  when  it  was  first  agreed 
that  Judge  Douglas  and  I  were  to  have  these  seven 
joint  discussions,  that  they  were  the  successive  acts  of 
a  drama, — perhaps  I  should  say,  to  be  enacted,  not 
merely  in  the  face  of  audiences  like  this,  but  in  the 
face  of  the  nation,  and  to  some  extent,  by  my  relation 
to  him,  and  not  from  anything  in  myself,  in  the  face 
of  the  world;  and  I  am  anxious  that  they  should  be 
conducted  with  dignity  and  in  the  good  temper  which 
would  be  befitting  the  vast  audience  before  which  it 
was  conducted .... 


We  have  in  this  nation  this  element  of  domestic 
slavery.  It  is  a  matter  of  absolute  certainty  that  it  is 
a  disturbing  element.  It  is  the  opinion  of  all  the  great 
men  who  have  expressed  an  opinion  upon  it,  that  it  is 
a  dangerous  element.  We  keep  up  a  controversy  in 
regard  to  it.  That  controversy  necessarily  springs  from 
difference  of  opinion;  and  if  we  can  learn  exactly — can 
reduce  to  the  lowest  elements — what  this  difference  of 
opinion  is,  we  shall  perhaps  be  better  prepared  for  dis- 
cussing the  different  systems  of  policy  that  we  would 
propose  in  regard  to  that  disturbing  element.  I  sug- 
gest that  the  dift'erence  of  opinion,  reduced  to  its  low- 
est terms,  is  no  other  than  the  difference  between  the 
men  who  think  slavery  a  wrong  and  those  who  do  not 
think  it  wrong.  The  Republican  party  think  it  wrong; 
we  think  it  is  a  moral,  a  social,'  and  a  political  wrong. 
We  think  it  is  a  wrong  not  confining  itself  merely  to 
the  persons  or  the  States  where  it  exists,  but  that  it 
is  a  wrong  in  its  tendency,  to  say  the  least,  that  ex- 
tends itself  to  the  existence  of  the  whole  nation.  Be- 
cause we  think  it  wrong,  we  propose  a  course  of  policy 
that  shall  deal  with  it  as  a  wrong.  We  deal  with  it  as 
with  any  other  wrong,  in  so  far  as  we  can  prevent  its 
growing  any  larger,  and  so  deal  with  it  that  in  the  run 
of  time  there  may  be  some  promise  of  an  end  to  it. 
We  have  a  due  regard  to  the  actual  presence  of  it 
amongst  us,  and  the  difficulties  of  getting  rid  of  it  in 
any  satisfactory  way,  and  all  the  constitutional  obliga- 
tions thrown  about  it.  I  suppose  that  in  reference 
both  to  its  actual  existence  in  the  nation,  and  to  our 
constitutional  obligations,  we  have  no  right  at  all  to 
disturb  it  in  the  States  where  it  exists,  and  we  profess 


that  we  have  no  more  inclination  to  disturb  it  than  we 
have  the  right  to  do  it.  We  go  further  than  that;  we 
don't  propose  to  disturb  it  where,  in  one  instance,  we 
think  the  Constitution  would  permit  us.  We  think 
the  Constitution  would  permit  us  to  disturb  it  in  the 
District  of  Columbia.  Still,  we  do  not  propose  to  do 
that,  unless  it  should  be  in  terms  which  I  don't  suppose 
the  nation  is  very  likely  soon  to  agree  to, — the  terms 
of  making  the  emancipation  gradual,  and  compensating 
the  unwilling  owners.  Where  we  suppose  we  have  the 
constitutional  right,  we  restrain  ourselves  in  reference 
to  the  actual  existence  of  the  institution  and  the  diffi- 
culties thrown  about  it.  We  also  oppose  it  as  an  evil, 
so  far  as  it  seeks  to  spread  itself.  We  insist  on  the 
policy  that  shall  restrict  it  to  its  present  limits.  We 
don't  suppose  that  in  'doing  this  we  violate  anything 
due  to  the  actual  presence  of  the  institution,  or  any- 
thing due  to  the  constitutional  guarantees  thrown 
around  it. 

We  oppose  the  Dred  Scott  decision  in  a  certain  way, 
upon  which  I  ought  perhaps  to  address  you  a  few  words. 
We  do  not  propose  that  when  Dred  Scott  has  been  de- 
cided to  be  a  slave  by  the  court,  we,  as  a  mob,  will  de- 
cide him  to  be  free.  We  do  not  propose  that,  when 
any  other  one,  or  one  thousand,  shall  be  decided  by 
that  court  to  be  slaves,  we  will  in  any  violent  way  dis- 
turb the  rights  of  property  thus  settled;  but  we  never- 
theless do  oppose  that  decision  as  a  political  rule  which 
shall  be  binding  on  the  voter  to  vote  for  nobody  who 
thinks  it  wrong,  which  shall  be  binding  on  the  mem- 
bers of  Congress  or  the  President  to  favor  no  measure 
that  does,  not  actually  concur  with  the  principles  of 


that  aecision.  We  do  not  propose  to  be  bound  by  it 
as  a  political  rule  in  that  way,  because  we  think  it  lays 
the  foundation,  not  merely  of  enlarging  and  spreading 
out  what  we  consider  an  evil,  but  it  lays  the  founda- 
tion for  spreading  that  evil  into  the  States  themselves. 
jWe  propose  so  resisting  it  as  to  have  it  reversed  if  we 
can,  and  a  new  judicial  rule  established  upon  this  sub- 
ject. I  will  add  this,  that  if  there  be  any  man  who 
jdoes  not  believe  that  slavery  is  wrong  in  the  three 
aspects  which  I  have  mentioned,  or  in  any  one  of  them, 
that  man  is  misplaced,  and  ought  to  leave  us.  While, 
on  the  other  hand,  if  there  be  any  man  in  the  Repub- 
lican party  who  is  impatient  over  the  necessity  spring- 
ing from  its  actual  presence,  and  is  impatient  of  the 
constitutional  guarantees  thrown  around  it,  and  would 
act  in  disregard  of  these,  he  too  is  misplaced,  stand- 
ing with  us.  He  will  find  his  place  somewhere  else; 
for  we  have  a  due  regard,  so  far  as  we  are  capable  of 
understanding  them,  for  all  these  things.  This,  gen- 
tlemen, as  well  as  I  can  give  it,  is  a  plain  statement  of 
our  principles  in  their  enormity. 

I  will  say  now  that  there  is  a  sentiment  in  the  coun- 
try contrary  to   me, — a  sentiment  which   holds    that 

avery  is  not  wrong,  and  therefore  it  goes  for  the 
policy  that  does  not  propose  dealing  with  it  as  a  wrong. 
That  policy  is  the  Democratic  policy,  and  that  senti- 
ment is  the  Democratic  sentiment.  If  there  be  a  doubt 
in  the  mind  of  any  one  of  this  vast  audience  that  this 
is  really  the  central  idea  of  the  Democratic  party  in 
relation  to  this  subject,  I  ask  him  to  bear  with  me 
while  I  state  a  few  things  tending,  as  I  think,  to  prove 
[that  proposition.     In  the  first  place,  the  leading  man — ' 


I  think  I  may  do  my  friend  Judge  Douglas  the  honor 
of  calling  him  such — advocating  the  present  Democratic 
policy,  never  himself  says  it  is  wrong.  He  has  the 
high  distinction,  so  far  as  I  know,  of  never  having  said 
slavery  is  either  right  or  wrong.  Almost  everybody 
else  says  one  or  the  other,  but  the  Judge  never  does. 
If  there  be  a  man  in  the  Democratic  party  who  thinks 
it  is  wrong,  and  yet  clings  to  that  party,  suggest  to 
him  in  the  first  place,  that  his  leader  don't  talk  as  he 
does,  for  he  never  says  that  it  is  wrong.  In  the  second 
place,  I  suggest  to  him,  that  if  he  will  examine  the 
policy  proposed  to  be  carried  forward,  he  will  find  that 
he  carefully  excludes  the  idea  that  there  is  anything 
wrong  in  it.  If  you  will  examine  the  arguments  that 
are  made  on  it,  you  will  find  that  [every  one  carefully 
excludes  the  idea  that  there  is  anything  wrong  in 
slavery.  Perhaps  that  Democrat  who  says  that  he  is 
as  much  opposed  to  slavery  as  I  am,  will  tell  me  that  I 
am  wrong  about  this.  I  wish  him  to  examine  his  own 
course  in  regard  to  this  matter  a  moment,  and  then  see 
if  his  opinion  will  not  be  changed  a  little.  You  say  it 
is  wrong;  but  don't  you  constantly  object  to  anybody 
else  saying  so?  Do  you  not  constantly  argue  that  this 
is  not  the  right  place  to  oppose  it?  You  say  it  must 
not  be  opposed  in  the  Free  States,  because  slavery  is 
not  here;  it  must  not  be  opposed  in  the  Slave  States, 
because  it  is  there;  it  must  not  be  opposed  in  politics, 
because  that  will  make  a  fuss;  it  must  not  be  opposed 
in  the  pulpit,  because  it  is  not  religion.  Then  where 
is  the  place  to  oppose  it?  There  is  no  suitable  place  to 
oppose  it.  There  is  no  place  in  the  country  to  oppose 
this  evil  overspreading  the  continent,  which  you  say 


yourself  is  coming.     Frank  Blair^  and  Gratz   Brown^ 
tried  to  get  up  a  system  of  gradual  emancipation  in 
Missouri!  had  an  election  in  August,  and  got  beat,  and 
you,  Mr.  Democrat,  threw' up  your  hat  and  hallooed 
"hurrah  for  Democracy."     So  I  say  again,  that  in  re- 
gard to  the  arguments  that  are  made,  when    Judge 
Douglas  says  he  * 'don't  care  whether  slavery  is  voted 
up  or  voted  down,''  whether  he  means  that  as  an  indi- 
vidual expression  of  sentiment,   or  only  as  a  sort  of 
statement  of  his  views  on  national  policy,  it  is  alike 
true  to  say  that  he  can  thus  argue  logically  if  he  don't 
see  anything  wrong  in  it;  but  he  cannot  say  so  logically 
if  he  admits  that  slavery  is  wrong.     He  cannot  say 
that  he  would  as  soon  see  a  wrong  voted  up  as  voted 
down.      When  Judge  Douglas  says  that    whoever    or 
whatever  community  wants  slaves,  they  have  a  right  to 
have  them,  he  is  perfectly  logical,  if  there  is  nothing 
wrong  in  the  institution;  but  if  you  admit  that  it  is 
wrong,  he  cannot  logically  say  that  anybody  has  a  right 
to  do  wrong.     When  he  says  that  slave  property  and 
horse  and  hog  property  are  alike  to  be  allowed  to  go 
into  the  Territories,  upon  the  principles  of  equality, 
he  is  reasoning  truly,  if  there  is  no  difference  between 
them  as  property;  but  if  the  one  is  property  held  right- 
fully, and  the  other  is  wrong,  then  there  is  no  equality 
between  the  right  and  wrong;  so  that,  turn  it  in  any 
way  you  can,  in  all  the  arguments  sustaining  the  Demo- 

1  Francis  P.  Blair,  Jr..  of  Missouri,  was  a  member  of  Congress  at  this  time. 
He  later  was  a  Major  General  in  the  Union  Army,  and  was  the  Democratic 
candidate  for  Vice-President  in  1868. 

1  B  Gratz  Brown  at  this  time  was  a  member  of  the  State  Legislature  of 
Missouri.  He  served  in  the  Union  army  in  the  civil  war,  was  United  States 
Senator  from  Missouri  1863-7,  became  Governor  of  Missouri  in  1871,  and  was 
candidate  for  Vice-President  on  the  ticket  with  Horace  Greeley  in  1872, 


cratic  policy,  and  in  that  policy  itself,  there  is  a  care^ 
fully  studied  exclusion  of  the  idea  that  there  is  anything 
wrong  in  slavery.  Let  us  understand  this.  I  am  not, 
just  here,  trying  to  prove  that  we  are  right,  and  they 
are  wrong.  I  have  been  stating  where  we  and  they 
stand,  and  trying  to  show  what  is  the  real  difference 
between  us;  and  I  now  say  that  whenever  we  can  get 
the  question  distinctly  stated,  can  get  all  these  men 
who  believe  that  slavery  is  in  some  of  these  respects 
wrong,  to  stand  and  act  with  us  in  treating  it  as  a 
wrong, — then,  and  not  till  then,  I  think  we  will  in 
some  way  come  to  an  end  of  this  slavery  agitation. 


Mr.  Lincoln  pretends  that  after  1  had  so  quoted  those 
resolutions^  he  discovered  that  they  had  never  been 
adopted  at  Springfield.  .  .  . 

I  will  now  show  you  that  I  stated  with  entire  fair- 
ness, as  soon  as  it  was  made  known  to  me,  that  there 
was  a  mistake  about  the  spot  where  the  resolutions  had 
been  adopted,  although  their  truthfulness,  as  a  decla- 
ration of  the  principles  of  the  Republican  party,  had 
not  and  could  not  be  questioned.  I  did  not  wait  for 
Lincoln  to  point  out  the  mistake,  but  the  moment  I  dis- 
covered it,  I  made  a  speech,  and  published  it  to  the 
world,  correcting  the  error.  I  corrected  it  myself,  as 
a  gentleman  and  an  honest  man,  and  as  I  always  feel 
proud  to  do  when  I  have  made  a  mistake.  I  wish  Mr. 
Lincoln  could  show  that  he  has  acted  with  equal  fair- 
ness, and  truthfulness,  when  I  have  convinced  him  that 

1.  Referring  to  the  Resolutions  given  on  page  21. 



he  has  been  mistaken.  I  will  give  you  an  illustration 
to  show  you  how  he  acts  in  a  similar  case:  In  a  speech 
at  Springfield,  he  charged  Chief  Justice  Taney  and  his 
associates,  President  Pierce,  President  Buchanan,  and 
myself,  with  having  entered  into  a  conspiracy  at  the 
time  the  Nebraska  bill  was  introduced,  by  which  the 
Dred  Scott  decision  was  to  be  made  by  the  Supreme 
Court,  in  order  to  carry  slavery  everywhere  under  the 
Constitution.  I  called  his  attention  to  the  fact  that  at 
the  time  alluded  to,  to  wit,  the  introduction  of  the 
Nebraska  bill,  it  was  not  possible  that  such  a  conspir- 
acy could  have  been  entered  into,  for  the  reason  that 
the  Dred  Scott  case  had  never  been  taken  before  the 
Supreme  Court,  and  was  not  taken  before  it  for  a  year 
after;  and  I  asked  him  to  take  back  that  charge.  Did 
he  do  it?  I  showed  him  that  it  was  impossible  that 
the  charge  could  be  true;  I  proved  it  by  the  record: 
and  I  then  called  upon  him  to  retract  his  false  charge. 
What  was  his  answer?  Instead  of  coming  out  like  an 
honest  man  and  doing  so,  he  reiterated  the  charge,  and 
said  that  if  the  case  had  not  gone  up  to  the  Supreme 
Court  from  the  courts  of  Missouri  at  the  time  he 
charged  that  the  Judges  of  the  Supreme  Court  entered 
into  the  conspiracy,  yet  that  there  was  an  understand- 
ing with  the  Democratic  owners  of  Dred  Scott  that 
they  would  take  it  up.  I  have  since  asked  him  who 
the  Democratic  owners  of  Dred  Scott  were,  but  he 
could  not  tell,  and  why?  Because  there  were  no  such 
Democratic  owners  in  existence.  Dred  Scott  at  the 
time  was  owned  by  the  Rev.  Dr.  Chaffee,  an  Abolition 
member  of  Congress,  of  Springfield,  Massachusetts,  in 
right  of  his  wife.     He  was  owned  by  one  of  Lincoln's 


friends,  and  not  by  Democrats  at  all;  his  case  was 
conducted  in  court  by  Abolition  lawyers,  so  that  both 
the  prosecution  and  the  defense  were  in  the  hands  of 
the  Abolition  political  friends  of  Mr.  Lincoln.  Not- 
withstanding I  thus  proved  by  the  record  that  his 
charge  against  the  Supreme  Court  was  false,  instead  of 
taking  it  back,  he  resorted  to  another  false  charge  to 
sustain  the  infamy  of  it.  He  also  charged  President 
Buchanan  with  having  been  a  party  to  the  conspiracy. 
I  directed  his  attention  to  the  fact  that  the  charge 
could  not  possibly  be  true,  for  the  reason,  that  at  the 
time  specified,  Mr.  Buchanan  was  not  in  America,  but 
was  three  thousand  miles  off,  representing  the  United 
States  at  the  Court  of  St.  James, ^  and  had  been  there 
for  a  year  previous,  and  did  not  return  until  three 
years  afterward.  Yet  I  never  could  get  Mr.  Lincoln  to 
take  back  his  false  charge,  although  I  have  called  upon 
him  over  and  over  again.  He  refuses  to  do  it,  and 
either  remains  silent,  or  resorts  to  other  tricks  to  try 
and  palm  his  slander  off  on  the  country.  Therein  you 
will  find  the  difference  between  Mr.  Lincoln  and  my- 
self. When  I  make  a  mistake,  as  an  honest  man  I  cor- 
rect it  without  being  asked  to  do  so;  but  when  he 
makes  a  false  charge,  he  sticks  to  it,  and  never  cor- 
rects it.  One  word  more  in  regard  to  these  resolu- 
tions: I  quoted  them  at  Ottawa  merely  to  ask  Mr. 
Lincoln  whether  he  stood  on  that  platform.  That  was 
the  purpose  for  which  I  quoted  them.  I  did  not  think 
that  I  had  a  right  to  put  idle  questions  to  him,  and  I 
first  laid  a  foundation  for  my  questions  by  showing 
that  the  principles  which  I  wished  him  either  to  affirm 

1.  That  is,  Great  Britain. 


or  deny  had  been  adopted  by  some  portion  of  his  friends, 
at  least,  as  their  creed.  Hence,  I  read  the  resolutions 
and  put  the  questions  to  him;  and  he  then  refused  to 
answer  them.  Subsequently,  one  week  afterward,  he 
did  answer  a  part  of  them,  but  the  others  he  has  not 
answered  up  to  this  day. . . . 

The  Dred  Scott  decision  was  pronounced  by  the  high- 
est tribunal  on  earth.  From  that  decision  there  is  no 
appeal  this  side  of  Heaven.  Yet,  Mr.  Lincoln  says  he 
is  going  to  reverse  that  decision.  By  what  tribunal 
will  he  reverse  it?  Will  he  appeal  to  a  mob?  Does 
he  intend  to  appeal  to  violence,  to  lynch  law?  Will 
he  stir  up  strife  and  rebellion  in  the  land,  and  over- 
throw the  court  by  violence?  He  does  not  deign  to  tell 
you  how  he  will  reverse  the  Dred  Scott  decision,  but 
keeps  appealing  each  day  from  the  Supreme  Court  of 
the  United  States  to  political  meetings  in  the  country. 
He  wants  me  to  argue  with  you  the  merits  of  each 
point  of  that  decision  before  this  political  meeting.  I 
say  to  you,  with  all  due  respect,  that  I  choose  to  abide 
by  the  decisions  of  the  Supreme  Court  as  they  are  pro- 
nounced. It  is  not  for  me  to  inquire,  after  a  decision 
is  made,  whether  I  like  it  in  all  the  points  or  not. 
When  I  used  to  practice  law  with  Lincoln,  I  never  knew 
him  to  be  beat  in  a  case  that  he  did  not  get  mad  at  the 
judge,  and  talk  about  appealing;  and  when  I  got  beat, 
I  generally  thought  the  court  was  wrong,  but  I  never 
dreamed  of  going  out  of  the  court  house  and  making  a 
stump  speech  to  the  people  against  the  judge,  merely 
because  I  had  found  out  that  I  did  not  know  the  law  as 
well  as  he  did.  If  the  decision  did  not  suit  me,  I  ap- 
pealed until  I  got  to  the  Supreme  Court;  and  then  if 


that  court,  the  highest  tribunal  in  the  world,  decided: 
against  me,  I  was  satisfied,  because  it  is  the  duty  of] 
every  law-abiding  man  to  obey  the  constitutions,  the; 
laws,  and  the  constituted  authorities.  He  who  at- 
tempts to  stir  up  odium  and  rebellion  in  the  country, 
against  the  constituted  authorities,  is  stimulating  the 
passions  of  men  to  resort  to  violence  and  to  mobs  in-- 
stead  of  to  the  law.  Hence,  1  tell  you  that  1  take  the 
decisions  of  the  Supreme  Court  as  the  law  of  the  land, 
and  I  intend  to  obey  them  as  such. 

But  Mr.  Lincoln  says  that  I  will  not  answer  his  ques- 
tion as  to  what  I  would  do  in  the  event  of  the  court 
making  so  ridiculous  a  decision  as  he  imagines  they 
would  by  deciding  that  the  free  State  of  Illinois  could 
not  prohibit  slavery  within  her  own  limits.    I  told  himi 
at  Freeport  why  I  would  not  answer  such  a  question.. 
I  told  him  that  there  was  not  a  man  possessing  any| 
brains  in  America,   lawyer  or  not,  who  ever  dreamed! 
that  such  a  thing  could  be  done.     I  told  him  then,  as  li 
do  now,  that  by  all  the  principles  set  forth  in  the  Dred; 
Scott  decision,  it  is  impossible.     I  told  him  then,  as  I( 
do  now,  that  it  is  an  insult  to  men's  understanding,, 
and  a  gross  calumny  on  the  court,  to  presume  in  ad-l 
vance  that  it  was  going  to  degrade  itself  so  low  as  to 
make  a  decision  known  to  be  in  direct  violation  of  the 
Constitution.  . .  . 

If  each  State  will  only  agree  to  mind  its  own  busi- 
ness and  let  its  neighbors  alone,  there  will  be  peace 
forever  between  us.  We  in  Illinois  tried  slavery  when 
a  Territory,  and  found  it  was  not  good  for  us  in  this 
climate,  and  with  our  surroundings,  and  hence  we  abol- 
ished it.     We  then  adopted  a  Free  State  Constitution, 


as  we  had  a  right  to  do.  In  this  State  we  have  de- 
clared that  a  negro  shall  not  be  a  citizen,  and  we  have 
also  declared  that  he  shall  not  be  a  slave.  We  had  a 
right  to  adopt  that  policy.  Missouri  has  just  as  good 
a  right  to  adopt  the  other  policy.  I  am  now  speaking 
of  rights  under  the  Constitution,  and  not  of  moral  or 
religious  rights.  I  do  not  discuss  the  morals  of  the 
people  of  Missouri,  but  let  them  settle  that  matter  for 
themselves.  I  hold  that  the  people  of  the  slaveholding 
States  are  civilized  men  as  well  as  ourselves,  and  that 
they  bear  consciences  as  well  as  we,  and  that  they  are 
accountable  to  God  and  their  posterity,  and  not  to  us. 
It  is  for  them  to  decide,  therefore,  the  moral  and  reli- 
gious right  of  the  slavery  question  for  themselves, 
within  their  own  limits.  I  assert  that  they  had  as 
much  right  under  the  Constitution  to  adopt  the  system 
of  policy  which  they  have  as  we  had  to  adopt  ours.  So 
it  is  with  every  other  State  in  this  Union.  Let  each 
State  stand  firmly  by  that  great  constitutional  right, 
let  each  State  mind  its  own  business  and  let  its  neigh- 
bors alone,  and  there  will  be  no  trouble  on  this  ques- 
tion. If  we  will  stand  by  that  principle,  then  Mr.  Lin- 
coln will  find  that  this  Republic  can  exist  forever,  di- 
vided into  Free  and  Slave  States,  as  our  fathers  made 
it  and  the  people  of  each  State  have  decided.  Stand 
by  that  great  principle,  and  we  can  go  on  as  we  have 
done,  increasing  in  wealth,  in  population,  in  power, 
and  in  all  the  elements  of  greatness,  until  we  shall  be 
the  admiration  and  terror  of  the  world.  We  can  go 
on  and  enlarge  as  our  population  increases,  require 
more  room,  until  we  make  this  continent  one  ocean- 
bound    republic.      Under    that    principle    the  United 


States  can  perform  that  great  mission,  that  destiny, 
which  Providence  has  marked  out  for  us.  Under  that 
principle  we  can  receive  with  entire  safety  that  stream 
of  intelligence  which  is  constantly  flowing  from  the  Old 
World  to  the  New,  filling  up  our  prairies,  clearing  our 
wildernesses  and  building  cities,  towns,  railroads,  and 
other  internal  improvements,  and  thus  make  this  the 
asylum  of  the  oppressed  of  the  whole  earth.  We  have 
this  great  mission  to  perform,  and  it  can  only  be  per- 
formed by  adhering  faithfully  to  that  principle  of  self- 
government  on  which  our  institutions  were  all  estab- 
lished. I  repeat  that  the  principle  is  the  right  of  each 
State,  each  Territory,  to  decide  this  slavery  question 
for  itself,  to  have  slavery  or  not,  as  it  chooses;  and  it 
does  not  become  Mr.  Lincoln,  or  anybody  else,  to  tell 
the  people  of  Kentucky  that  they  have  no  consciences, 
that  they  are  living  in  a  state  of  iniquity,  and  that 
they  are  cherishing  an  institution  to  their  bosoms  in 
violation  of  the  law  of  God,  Better  for  him  to  adopt 
the  doctrine  of  ** judge  not,  lest  ye  shall  be  judged." 
Let  him  perform  his  own  duty  at  home,  and  he  will 
have  a  better  fate  in  the  future.  I  think  there  are  ob- 
jects of  charity  enough  in  the  Free  States  to  excite  the 
sympathies  and  open  the  pockets  of  all  the  benevolence 
we  have  amongst  us,  without  going  abroad  in  search  of 
negroes,  of  whose  condition  we  know  nothing.  We 
have  enough  objects  of  charity  at  home,  and  it  is  our 
duty  to  take  care  of  our  own  poor  and  our  own  suffer- 
ing, before  we  go  abroad  to  intermeddle  with  other 
people's  business. 

My  friends,   I  am  told  that  my  time  is  within  two 
minutes  of  expiring.     I  have  omitted  many  topics  that 


I  would  like  to  have  discussed  before  you  at  length. 
There  were  many  points  touched  by  Mr.  Lincoln  that  I 
have  not  been  able  to  take  up  for  the  want  of  time.  I 
have  hurried  over  each  subject  that  I  have  discussed  as 
rapidly  as  possible,  so  as  to  omit  but  few,  but  one  hour 
and  a  half  is  not  time  sufficient  for  a  man  to  discuss  at 
length  one  half  of  the  great  questions  which  are  now 
dividing  the  public  mind. 

In  conclusion,  I  desire  to  return  to  you  my  grateful 
acknowledgements  for  the  kindness  and  the  courtesy 
with  which  you  have  listened  to  me.  It  is  something 
remarkable  that  in  an  audience  as  vast  as  this,  com- 
posed of  men  of  opposite  politics  and  views,  with  their 
passions  highly  excited,  there  should  be  so  much  cour- 
tesy, kindness,  and  respect  exhibited  not  only  toward 
one  another,  but  toward  the  speakers;  and  I  feel  that 
it  is  due  to  you  that  I  should  thus  express  my  gratitude 
for  the  kindness  with  which  you  have  treated  me. 


My  Friends:  Since  Judge  Douglas  has  said  to  you  in 
his  conclusion  that  he  had  not  time  in  an  hour  and  a 
half  to  answer  all  I  had  said  in  an  hour,  it  follows  of 
course  that. I  will  not  be  able  to  answer  in  half  an  hour 
all  that  he  said  in  an  hour  and  a  half. 

I  wish  to  return  to  Judge  Douglas  my  profound 
thanks  for  his  public  annunciation  here  to-day,  to  be 
put  on  record,  that  his  system  of  policy  in  regard  to 
the  institution  of  slavery  contemplates  that  it  shall  last 
forever.  We  are  getting  a  little  nearer  the  true  issue 
of  this  controversy,  and  I  am  profoundly  grateful  for 


this  one  sentence.  Judge  Douglas  asks  you,  **Why  can- 
not the  institution  of  slavery,  or  rather,  why  cannot 
the  nation,  part  slave  and  part  free,  continue  as  our 
fathers  made  it,  forever?"  In  the  first  place,  I  insist 
that  our  fathers  did  not  make  this  nation  half  slave 
and  half  free,  or  part  slave  and  part  free.  I  insist 
that  they  found  the  institution  of  slavery  existing  here. 
They  did  not  make  it  so,  but  they  left  it  so  because 
they  knew  no  way  to  get  rid  of  it  at  that  time.  When 
Judge  Douglas  undertakes  to  say  that,  as  a  matter  of 
choice,  the  fathers  of  the  Government  made  this  nation 
part  slave  and  part  free,  he  assumes  what  is  histori- 
cally a  falsehood.  More  than  that,  when  the  fathers 
of  the  Government  cut  off  the  source  of  slavery  by  the 
abolition  of  the  slave  trade,  and  adopted  a  system  of 
restricting  it  from  the  new  Territories  where  it  had  not 
existed,  I  maintain  that  they  placed  it  where  they  un- 
derstood, and  all  sensible  men  understood,  it  was  in 
the  course  of  ultimate  extinction;  and  when  Judge 
Douglas  asks  me  why  it  cannot  continue  as  our  fathers 
made  it,  I  ask  him  why  he  and  his  friends  could  not  let 
it  remain  as  our  fathers  made  it? 

It  is  precisely  all  I  ask  of  him  in  relation  to  the  in- 
stitution of  slavery,  that  it  shall  be  placed  upon  the 
basis  that  our  fathers  placed  it  upon.  Mr.  Brooks,^ 
of  South  Carolina,  once  said,  and  truly  said,  that  when 
this  Government  was  established,  no  one  expected  the 
institution  of  slavery  to  last  until  this  day,  and  that 
the  men  who  formed  this  Government  were  wiser  and 
better  than  the  men  of  these  days;  but  the  men  of 
these  days  had  experience  which  the  fathers  had  not, 

1.  United  States  Senator  P.  W.  Brooks,  of  South  Carolina. 


and  that  experience  had  taught  them  the  invention  of 
the  cotton-gin,^  and  this  had  made  the  perpetuation  of 
the  institution  of  slavery  a  necessity  in  this  country. 
Judge  Douglas  could  not  let  it  stand  upon  the  basis  upon 
v^hich  our  fathers  placed  it,  but  removed  it,  and  put  it 
upon  the  cotton-gin  basis.  It  is  a  question,  therefore, 
for  him  and  his  friends  to  answer,  why  they  could  not 
let  it  remain  where  the  fathers  of  the  Government  orig- 
inally placed  it.  . . . 

The  truth  about  the  matter  is  this:  Judge  Douglas 
has  sung  paeans  to  his  * 'Popular  Sovereignty"  doctrine 
until  his  Supreme  Court,  cooperating  with  him,  has 
squatted  his  Squatter  Sovereignty  out.^  But  he  will 
keep  up  this  species  of  humbuggery  about  Squatter 
Sovereignty.  He  has  at  last  invented  this  sort  of  do- 
nothing  Sovereignty, — that  the  people  may  exclude 
slavery  by  a  sort  of  "Sovereignty"  that  is  exercised 
by  doing  nothing  at  all.  Is  not  that  running  his  Pop- 
ular Sovereignty  down  awfully?  Has  it  not  got  down 
as  thin  as  the  homeopathic  soup  that  was  made  by  boil- 
ing the  shadow  of  a  pigeon  that  had  starved  to  death? 
But  at  last,  when  it  is  brought  to  the  test  of  close  rea- 
soning, there  is  not  even  that  thin  decoction  of  it  left. 
It  is  a  presumption  impossible  in  the  domain  of  thought. 
It  is  precisely  no  other  than  the  putting  of  that  most 
unphilosophical  proposition,  that  two  bodies  can  oc- 
cupy the  same  space  at  the  same  time.  The  Dred  Scott 
decision  covers  the  whole  ground,  and   while  it  occu- 

1.  The  invention  of  the  cotton-gin  by  Eli  Whitney  in  1795  made  slavery  more 
profitable  and  placed  the  opposition  on  an  economic  rather  than  an  ethical 

2.  That  is, the  Dred  Scott  decision  killed  the  theory  of  Squatter  Sovereignty. 


pies  it,  there  is  no  room  even  for  the  shadow  of  a 
starved  pigeon  to  occupy  the  same  ground .... 

The  Judge  wants  to  know  why  I  won't  withdraw  the 
charge  in  regard  to  a  conspiracy  to  make  slavery  na- 
tional, as  he  has  withdrawn  the  one  he  made.  May  it 
please  his  worship,  I  will  withdraw  it  when  it  is  proven 
false  on  me  as  that  was  proven  false  on  him.  I  will 
add  a  little  more  than  that.  I  will  withdraw  it  when- 
ever a  reasonable  man  shall  be  brought  to  believe  that 
the  charge  is  not  true.  1  have  asked  Judge  Douglas's 
attention  to  certain  matters  of  fact  tending  to  prove 
the  charge  of  a  conspiracy  to  nationalize  slavery,  and 
he  says  he  convinces  me  that  this  is  all  untrue  because 
Buchanan  was  not  in  the  country  at  that  time,  and  be- 
cause the  Dred  Scott  case  had  not  then  got  into  the 
Supreme  Court;  and  he  says  that  I  say  the  Democratic 
owners  of  Dred  Scott  got  up  the  case.  I  never  did  say 
that.  I  defy  Judge  Douglas  to  show  that  I  ever  said 
so,  for  I  never  uttered  it. 

[One  of  Mr.  Douglas's  reporters  gesticulated  affirm- 
atively at  Mr.  Lincoln.] 

1  don't  care  if  your  hireling  does  say  I  did,  I  tell  you 
myself  that  I  never  said  the  ''Democratic"  owners  of 
Dred  Scott  got  up  the  case.  I  have  never  pretended  to 
know  whether  Dred  Scott's  owners  were  Democrats,  or 
Abolitionists,  or  Free  Soilers,  or  Border  Ruffians.-^  I 
have  said  that  there  is  evidence  about  the  case  tending 
to  show  that  it  was  a  made-up  case,  for  the  purpose  of 
getting  that  decision.     I  have  said  that  that  evidence 

1.  People  who  believed  that  the  Territories  should  be  admitted  as  free 
states  were  known  as  Free  Soilers,  During  the  disturbances  in  Kansas  Ter- 
ritory, some  emigrants  came  over  from  Missouri  favoring  slavery,  and  to 
them  the  free  soil  residents  gave  the  name  of  Border  Ruffians. 


was  very  strong  in  the  fact  that  when  Dred  Scott  was 
declared  to  be  a  slave,  the  owner  of  him  made  him 
free,  showing  that  he  had  had  the  case  tried  and  the 
question  settled  for  such  use  as  could  be  made  of  that 
decision;  he  cared  nothing  about  the  property  thus  de- 
clared to  be  his  by  that  decision.  But  my  time  is  out, 
and  I  can  say  no  more. 



Alton,  October  15,  1858 


Ladies  and  Gentlemen :  It  is  now  nearly  four  months 
since  the  canvass  between  Mr.  Lincoln  and  myself 

I  hold  that  there  is  no  power  on  earth,  under  our 
system  of  Government,  which  has  the  right  to  force  a 
Constitution  upon  an  unwilling  people.  .  .  . 

Most  of  the  men  who  denounced  my  course  on  the 
Lecompton  question  objected  to  it,  not  because  I  was 
not  right,  but  because  they  thought  it  expedient  at  that 
time,  for  the  sake  of  keeping  the  party  together,  to 
do  wrong. . . . 

But  I  am  told  that  I  would  have  been  all  right  if  I 
had  voted  for  the  English  bill^  after  the  Lecompton 
measure  was  killed.  You  know  a  pardon  was  granted 
to  all  political  offenders  on  the  Lecompton  question, 
provided  they  would  only  vote  for  the  English  bill.  I 
did  not  accept  the  benefits  of  that  pardon,  for  the 
reason  that  I  had  been  right  in  the  course  I  had  pur- 
sued, and  hence  did  not  require  any  forgiveness.  Let 
us  see  how  the  result  has  been  worked  out.  English 
brought  in  his  bill  referring  the  Lecompton  Constitu- 

1.  The  English  bill  for  the  admission  of  Kanse  s,  introduced  in  Congress  by 
Wm.  H.  English,  of  Indiana,  is  explained  by  Douglas  in  the  lines  which  follow. 


tion  back  to  the  people,  with  the  provision  that  if  it 
was  rejected,  Kansas  should  be  kept  out  of  the  Union 
until  she  had  the  full  ratio  of  population  required  for 
a  member  of  Congress,— thus  in  effect  declaring  that 
if  the  people  of  Kansas  would  only  consent  to  come 
into  the  Union  under  the  Lecompton  Constitution,  and 
have  a  Slave  State  when  they  did  not  want  it,  they 
should  be  admitted  with  a  population  of  35,000 ;  but  that 
if  they  were  so  obstinate  as  to  insist  upon  having  just 
such  a  constitution  as  they  thought  best,  and  to  desire 
admission  as  a  Free  State,  then  they  should  be  kept  out 
until  they  had  93,420  inhabitants.  I  then  said,  and  I 
now  repeat  to  you,  that  whenever  Kansas  has  people 
enough  for  a  Slave  State  she  has  people  enough  for  a 
Free  State.  I  was  and  am  willing  to  adopt  the  rule 
that  no  State  shall  ever  come  into  the  Union  until  she 
has  the  full  ratio  of  population  for  a  member  of  Con- 
gress, provided  that  rule  is  made  uniform 

Fellow-citizens,  how  have  the  supporters  of  the 
English  bill  stood  up  to  their  pledges  not  to  admit 
Kansas  until  she  obtained  a  population  of  93,420  in 
the  event  she  rejected  the  Lecompton  Constitution? 
How?  The  newspapers  inform  us  that  English  him- 
self, whilst  conducting  his  canvass  for  re-election,  and 
in  order  to  secure  it,  pledged  himself  to  his  constit- 
uents that  if  returned  he  would  disregard  his  own  bill, 
and  vote  to  admit  Kansas  into  the  Union  with  such  popu- 
lation as  she  might  have  when  she  made  application. 
We  are  informed  that  every  Democratic  candidate  for 
Congress  in  all  the  States  where  elections  have  recently 
been  held  was  pledged  against  the  English  bill,  with 
perhaps  one  or  two  exceptions.     Now,  if  I   had   only 


done  as  these  anti-Lecompton  men  who  voted  for  the 
English  bill  in  Congress,  pledging  themselves  to  refuse 
to  admit  Kansas  if  she  refused  to  become  a  Slave  State 
until  she  had  a  population  of  93,420,  and  then  returned 
to  their  people,  forfeited  their  pledge,  and  made  a  new 
pledge  to  admit  Kansas  at  any  time  she  applied,  with- 
out regard  to  population,  I  would  have  had  no  trouble. 
You  saw  the  whole  power  and  patronage  of  the  Federal 
Government  wielded  in  Indiana,  Ohio,  and  Pennsyl- 
vania to  re-elect  anti-Lecompton  men  to  Congress  who 
voted  against  Lecompton,  then  voted  for  the  English 
bill,  and  then  denounced  the  English  bill,  and  pledged 
themselves  to  their  people  to  disregard  it.  My  sin  con- 
sists in  not  having  given  a  pledge,  and  then  in  not 
having  afterward  forfeited  it.  For  that  reason,  in  this 
State,  every  postmaster,  every  route  agent,  every  col- 
lector of  the  ports,  and  every  Federal  office-holder,  for- 
feits his  head  the  moment  he  expresses  a  preference 
for  the  Democratic  candidates  against  Lincoln  and  his 
Abolition  associates.  A  Democratic  Administration^ 
which  we  helped  to  bring  into  power,  deems  it  consist- 
ent with  its  fidelity  to  principle  and  its  regard  to  duty 
to  wield  its  power  in  this  State  in  behalf  of  the  Re- 
publican Abolition  candidates,  in  every  county  and 
every  Congressional  District  against  the  Democratic 
party.  All  I  have  to  say  in  reference  to  the  matter  is, 
that  if  that  Administration  have  not  regard  enough 
for  principle,  if  they  are  not  sufficiently  attached  to 
the  creed  of  the  Democratic  party,  to  bury  forever 
their  personal  hostilities  in  order  to  succeed  in  carry- 

1.  Douglas,  a  Democrat,  had  incurred  the  displeasure  of  Buchanan,  a  Dem- 
ocratic president,  on  the  Kansas  question,  because  the  senator  refused  to 
support  the  Lecompton  constitutor 


ing  out  our  glori9us  principles,  I  have.  I  have  no  per- 
sonal difficulty  with  Mr.  Buchanan  or  his  Cabinet.  He 
chose  to  make  certain  recommendations  to  Congress, 
as  he  had  a  right  to  do,  on  the  Lecompton  question.  I 
could  not  vote  in  favor  of  them.  I  had  as  much  right 
to  judge  for  myself  how  I  should  vote  as  he  had  how  he 
should  recommend.  He  undertook  to  say  to  me,  **If 
you  do  not  vote  as  I  tell  you,  I  will  take  off  the  heads 
of  your  friends."  I  replied  to  him,  **You  did  not 
elect  me;  I  represent  Illinois,  and  I  am  accountable  to 
Illinois,  as  my  constituency,  and  to  God;  but  not  to  the 
President  or  to  any  other  power  on  earth.'' 

And  now  this  warfare  is  made  on  me  because  I  would 
not  surrender  my  convictions  of  duty,  because  I  would 
not  abandon  my  constituency,  and  receive  the  orders  of 
the  executive  authorities  how  I  should  vote  in  the  Sen- 
ate of  the  United  States.     I  hold  that  an  attempt  to 
control  the  Senate  on  the  part  of  the  Executive  is  sub- 
versive of  the  principles  of  our  Constitution.     The  Ex- 
ecutive department  is  independent  of  the  Senate,  and 
the  Senate  is  independent  of  the  President.     In  mat- 
ters of  legislation  the  President  has  a  veto  on  the  action 
of  the  Senate,  and  in  appointments  and  treaties  the 
Senate  has  a  veto  on  the  President.     He  has  no  more 
right  to  tell  me  how  I  shall  vote  on  his  appointments 
than  I  have  to  tell  him  whether  he  shall  veto  or  ap- 
prove a  bill  that  the  Senate  has  passed.     Whenever  you 
recognize  the  right  of  the  Executive  to  say  to  a  Sen- 
ator, **Do  this,  or  I  will  take  off  the  heads  of  your 
friends,"  you  convert  this  Government  from  a  republic 
into  a  despotism.     Whenever  you  recognize  the  right 
of  a  President  to  say  to  a  member  of  Congress,  '  *Vote 


as  I  tell  you,  or  I  will  bring  a  power  to  bear  against 
you  at  home  which  will  crush  you,''  you  destroy  the 
independence  of  the  Representative,  and  convert  him 
into  a  tool  of  Executive  power.  I  resisted  this  invasion 
of  the  constitutional  rights  of  a  Senator,  and  I  intend 
to  resist  it  as  long  as  I  have  a  voice  to  speak  or  a  vote 
to  give.  Yet,  Mr.  Buchanan  cannot  provoke  me  to 
abandon  one  iota  of  Democratic  principles  out  of  re- 
venge or  hostility  to  his  course.  I  stand  by  the  plat- 
form of  the  Democratic  party,  and  by  its  organization, 
and  support  its  nominees.  If  there  are  any  who  choose 
to  bolt,  the  fact  only  shows  that  they  are  not  as  good. 
Democrats  as  I  am .... 

I  hold  that  this  Government  was  established  on  the 
white  basis.  It  was  established  by  white  men  for  the 
benefit  of  white  men  and  their  posterity  forever,  and 
should  be  administered  by  white  men,  and  none  others. 
But  it  does  not  follow,  by  any  means,  that  merely  be- 
cause the  negro  is  not  a  citizen,  and  merely  because  he 
is  not  our  equal,  that,  therefore,  he  should  be  a  slave. 
On  the  contrary,  it  does  follow  that  we  ought  to  extend 
to  the  negro  race,  and  to  all  other  dependent  races,  all 
the  rights,  all  the  privileges,  and  all  the  immunities 
which  they  can  exercise  consistently  with  the  safety  of 
society.  Humanity  requires  that  we  should  give  them 
all  these  privileges;  Christianity  commands  that  we 
should  extend  those  privileges  to  them.  The  question 
then  arises,  what  are  those  privileges,  and  what  is  the 
nature  and  extent  of  them.  My  answer  is  that  that  is 
a  question  which  each  State  must  answer  for  itself. .  . . 
If  the  people  of  all  the  States  will  act  on  that  great 
principle,  and  each  State  mind  its  own  business,  attend 


to  its  own  affairs,  take  care  o'  \tF  own  negroes,  and  not 
meddle  with  its  neighbors,  ther  there  will  be  peace  be- 
tween the  North  and  South,  the  East  and  the  West, 
throughout  the  whole  Union. 

Why  can  we  not  thus  have  peace?  Why  should  we 
thus  allow  a  sectional  party  to  agitate  this  country,  to 
array  the  North  against  the  South,  and  convert  us  into 
enemies  instead  of  friends,  merely  that  a  few  ambi- 
tious men  may  ride  into  power  on  a  sectional  hobby? 
How  long  is  it  since  these  ambitious  Northern  men 
wished  for  a  sectional  organization?  Did  any  one  of 
them  dream  of  a  sectional  party  as  long  as  the  North 
was  the  weaker  section  and  the  South  the  stronger? 
Then  all  were  opposed  to  sectional  parties;  but  the 
moment  the  North  obtained  the  majority  in  the  House 
and  Senate  by  the  admission  of  California,  and  could 
elect  a  President  without  the  aid  of  Southern  votes, 
that  moment  ambitious  Northern  men  formed  a  scheme 
to  excite  the  North  against  the  South,  and  make  the 
people  be  governed  in  their  votes  by  geographical  lines, 
thinking  that  the  North,  being  the  stronger  section, 
would  outvote  the  South,  and  consequently  they,  the 
leaders,  would  ride  into  office  on  a  sectional  hobby.  I 
am  told  that  my  hour  is  out.     It  was  very  short. 


Ladies  and  Gentlemen:  I  have  been  somewhat,  in 
my  own  mind,  complimented  by  a  large  portion  of 
Judge  Douglas's  speech, — I  mean  that  portion  which 
he  devotes  to  the  controversy  between  himself  and  the 
present  Administration.    This  is  the  seventh  time  Judge 


Douglas  and  myself  have  met  in  these  joint  discussions, 
and  he  has  been  gradually  improving  in  regard  to  his 
war  with  the  Administration,.  At  Quincy,  day  before 
yesterday,  he  was  a  little  more  severe  upon  the  Ad- 
ministration than  I  had  heard  him  upon  any  occasion, 
and  I  took  pains  to  compliment  him  for  it.  I  then  told 
him  to  "Give  it  to  them  with  all  the  power  he  had;" 
and  as  some  of  them  were  present,  I  told  them  I  would 
be  very  much  obliged  if  they  would  give  it  to  him  in 
about  the  same  way.  I  take  it  he  has  now  vastly  im- 
proved upon  the  attack  he  made  then  upon  the  Admin- 
istration. I  flatter  myself  he  has  really  taken  my  ad- 
vice on  this  subject.  All  I  can  say  now  is  to  recom- 
mend to  him  and  to  them  what  I  then  commended, — to 
prosecute  the  war  against  one  another  in  the  most  vig- 
orous manner.  I  say  to  them  again:  **Go  it,  husband! 
—Go  it,  bear!"i 

You  have  heard  him  frequently  allude  to  my  con- 
troversy with  him  in  regard  to  the  Declaration  of  In- 
dependence. .  .  . 

At  Galesburg,  the  other  day,  I  said  in  answer  to 
Judge  Douglas,  that  three  years  ago  there  never  had 
been  a  man,  so  far  as  I  knew  or  believed,  in  the  whole 
world,  who  had  said  that  the  Declaration  of  Independ- 
ence did  not  include  negroes  in  the  term  "all  men."  I 
reassert  it  to-day.  I  assert  that  Judge  Douglas  and  all 
his  friends  may  search  the  whole  records  of  the  coun- 
try, and  it  will  be  a  matter  of  great  astonishment  to 
me  if  they  shall  be  able  to  find  that  one  human  being 

1.  A  local  story  current  at  the  time  about  a  woman  who  saw  her  worth- 
less husband  attacked  by  a  bear.  She  refused  to  help  either  man  or  bear, 
trusting  that  each  would  kill  the  other. 


three  years  ago  had  ever  uttered  the  astounding  senti- 
ment, that  the  term  "all  men*'  in  the  Declaration  did 
not  include  the  negro.  Do  not  let  me  be  misunder- 
stood. I  know  that  more  than  three  years  ago  there 
were  men  who,  finding  this  assertion  constantly  in  the 
way  of  their  schemes  to  bring  about  the  ascendency  and 
perpetuation  of  slavery,  denied  the  truth  of  it.  I  know 
that  Mr.  Calhoun  and  all  the  politicians  of  his  school 
denied  the  truth  of  the  Declaration.  I  know  that  it 
ran  along  in  the  mouth  of  some  Southern  men  for  a 
period  of  years,  ending  at  last  in  that  shameful,  though 
rather  forcible  declaration  of  Pettit^  of  Indiana,  upon 
the  floor  of  the  United  States  Senate,  that  the  Declar- 
ation of  Independence  was  in  that  respect  "a  self-evi- 
dent lie,"  rather  than  a  self-evident  truth.  But  I  say, 
with  a  perfect  knowledge  of  all  this  hawking  at  the 
Declaration  without  directly  attacking  it,  that  three 
years  ago  there  never  had  lived  a  man  who  had  ven- 
tured to  assail  it  in  the  sneaking  way  of  pretending  to 
believe  it,  and  then  asserting  it  did  not  include  the 
negro.  I  believe  the  first  man  who  ever  said  it  was 
Chief  Justice  Taney  in  the  Dred  Scott  case,  and  the  next 
to  him  was  our  friend  Stephen  A.  Douglas.  And  now 
it  has  become  the  catchword  of  the  entire  party.  .  .  . 

And  when  this  new  principle — this  new  proposition 
that  no  human  being  ever  thought  of  three  years  ago — 
is  brought  forward,  I  combat  it  as  having  an  evil  tend- 
ency, if  not  an  evil  design.  I  combat  it  as  having  a 
tendency  to  dehumanize  the  negro,  to  take  away  from 
him  the  right  of  ever  striving  to  be  a  man.     I  combat 

1.  Hon.  John  Pettit,  of  Indiana,  was  U.  S.  Senator,  1853-5,  and  later  was 
appointed  by  President  Buchanan  chief  justice  of  Kansas  Territory. 


it  as  being  one  of  the  thousand  things  constantly  done 
in  these  days  to  prepare  the  public  mind  to  make  prop- 
erty, and  nothing  but  property,  of  the  negro  in  all  the 
States  of  this  Union.  .  . . 

Judge  Douglas  has  again  referred  to  a  Springfield 
speech  in  which  I  said  **a  house  divided  against  itself 
cannot  stand."  The  Judge  has  so  often  made  the  en- 
tire quotation  from  that  speech  that  I  can  make  it  from 
memory.     I  used  this  language:— 

We  are  now  far  into  the  fifth  year  since  a  policy  was  ini- 
tiated with  the  avowed  object  and  confident  promise  of  put- 
ting an  end  to  the  slavery  agitation.  Under  the  operation 
of  this  policy,  that  agitation  has  not  only  not  ceased,  but 
has  constantly  augmented.  In  my  opinion  it  will  not  cease 
until  a  crisis  shall  have  been  reached  and  passed.  *'A  house 
divided  against  itself  cannot  stand.  "  I  believe  this  Govern- 
ment cannot  endure  permanently,  half  slave  and  half  free. 
I  do  not  expect  the  house  to  fall,  but  I  do  expect  it  will 
cease  to  be  divided.  It  will  become  all  one  thing,  or  all  the 
other.  Either  the  opponents  of  slavery  will  arrest  the 
further  spread  of  it,  and  place  it  where  the  public  mind 
shall  rest  in  the  belief  that  it  is  in  the  course  of  ultimate 
extinction,  or  its  advocates  will  push  it  forward  till  it  shall 
become  alike  lawful  in  all  the  States, — old  as  well  as  new, 
North  as  well  as  South. 

That  extract  and  the  sentiments  expresed  in  it  have 
been  extremely  offensive  to  Judge  Douglas.  He  has 
warred  upon  them  as  Satan  wars  upon  the  Bible.  His 
perversions  upon  it  are  endless.  Here  now  are  my 
views  upon  it  in  brief. 

I  said  we  were  now  far  into  the  fifth  year  since  a 
policy  was  initiated  with  the  avowed  object  and  con- 
fident promise  of  putting  an  end  to  the  slavery  agita- 
tion.    Is   it  not  so?     When   that  Nebraska  bill   was 



brought  forward  four  years  ago  last  January,  was  it 
not  for  the  * 'avowed  object''  of  putting  an  end  to  the 
slavery  agitation?  We  were  to  have  no  more  agitation 
in  Congress;  it  was  all  to  be  banished  to  the  Terri- 
tories. By  the  way,  I  will  remark  here  that,  as  Judge 
Douglas  is  very  fond  of  complimenting  Mr.  Crittenden^ 
in  these  days,  Mr.  Crittenden  has  said  there  was  a  false- 
hood in  that  whole  business,  for  there  was  no  slavery 
agitation  at  that  time  to  allay.  We  were  for  a  little 
while  quiet  on  the  troublesome  thing,  and  that  very 
allaying  plaster  of  Judge  Douglas's  stirred  it  up  again. 
But  was  it  not  understood  or  intimated,  with  the  *'con- 
fident  promise"  of  putting  an  end  to  the  slavery  agita- 
tion? Surely  it  was.  In  every  speech  you  heard  Judge 
Douglas  make,  until  he  got  into  this  'Mmbroglio,"  as 
they  call  it,  with  the  Administration  about  the  Lecomp- 
ton  Constitution,  every  speech  on  that  Nebraska  bill  was 
full  of  his  felicitation  that  we  were  just  at  the  end  of 
the  slavery  agitation.  The  last  tip  of  the  last  joint  of 
the  old  serpent's  tail  was  just  drawing  out  of  view. 
But  has  it  proved  so?  I  have  asserted  that  under  that 
policy  that  agitation  **has  not  only  not  ceased,  but  has 
constantly  augmented.''  When  was  there  ever  a  greater 
agitation  in  Congress  than  last  winter?  When  was  it 
as  great  in  the  country  as  to-day. 

There  was  a  collateral  object  in  the  introduction  of 
that  Nebraska  policy,  which  was  to  clothe  the  people 
of  the  Territories  with  a  superior  degree  of  self-govern- 
ment, beyond  what  they  had  ever  had  before.  The  first 
object  and  the  main  one  of  conferring  upon  the  people 
a  higher  degree  of  *  ^self-government"  is  a  question  of 

1.  Senator  John  J.  Crittenden,  of  Kentucky, 


fact,  to  be  determined  by  you  in  answer  to  a  single 
question.  Have  you  ever  heard  or  known  of  a  people 
anywhere  on  earth  who  had  as  little  to  do  as,  in  the 
first  instance  of  its  use,  the  people  of  Kansas  had  with 
this  same  right  of  "self-government?''  In  its  main 
policy  and  in  its  collateral  object,  it  has  been  nothing 
but  a  living,  creeping  lie  from  the  time  of  its  intro- 
duction till  to-day. 

I  have  intimated  that  I  thought  the  agitation  would 
not  cease  until  a  crisis  should  have  been  reached  and 
passed.  I  have  stated  in  what  way  I  thought  it  would 
be  reached  and  passed.  I  have  said  that  it  might  go 
one  way  or  the  other.  We  might,  by  arresting  the  fur- 
ther spread  of  it,  and  placing  it  where  the  fathers  ori- 
ginally placed  it,  put  it  where  the  public  mind  should 
rest  in  the  belief  that  it  was  in  the  course  of  ultimate 
extinction.  Thus  the  agitation  may  cease.  It  may  be 
pushed  forward  until  it  shall  become  alike  lawful  in  all 
the  States,  old  as  well  as  new.  North  as  well  as  South. 
I  have  said,  and  I  repeat,  my  wish  is  that  the  further 
spread  of  it  may  be  arrested,  and  that  it  may  be  placed 
where  the  public  mind  shall  rest  in  the  belief  that  it  is 
in  the  course  of  ultimate  extinction.  I  have  expressed 
that  as  my  wish.  I  entertain  the  opinion,  upon  evidence 
sufficient  to  my  mind,  that  the  fathers  of  this  Govern- 
ment placed  ^hat  institution  where  the  public  mind  did 
rest  in  the  belief  that  it  was  in  the  course  of  ultimate 
extinction.  Let  me  ask  why  they  made  provision  that 
the  source  of  slavery — the  African  slave  trade — should 
be  cut  off  at  the  end  of  twenty  years?  Why  did  they 
make  provision  that  in  all  the  new  territory  we  owned 
at  that  time  slavery  should  be  forever  inhibited?    Why 


stop  its  spread  in  one  direction,  and  cut  off  its  source 
in  another,  if  they  did  not  look  to  its  being  placed  in 
the  course  of  ultimate  extinction? 

Again:  the  institution  of  slavery  is  only  mentioned 
in  the  Constitution  of  the  United  States  two  or  three 
times,  and  in  neither  of  these  cases  does  the  word 
"slavery"  or  **negro  race"  occur;  but  covert  language 
is  used  each  time,  and  for  a  purpose  full  of  signifi- 
cance. What  is  the  language  in  regard  to  the  prohibition 
of  the  African  slave-trade?  It  runs  in  about  this  way: — 

The  migration  or  importation  of  such  persons  as  any  of 
the  States  now  existing  shall  think  proper  to  admit,  shall 
not  be  prohibited  by  the  Congress  prior  to  the  year  one 
thousand  eight  hundred  and  eight. 

The  next  allusion  in  the  Constitution  to  the  question 
of  slavery  and  the  black  race,  is  on  the  subject  of  the  basis 
of  representation,  and  there  the  language  used  is: — 

Representatives  and  direct  taxes  shall  be  apportioned 
among  the  several  States  which  may  be  included  within  this 
Union,  according  to  their  respective  numbers,  which  shall 
be  determined  by  adding  to  the  whole  number  of  free  per- 
sons, including  those  bound  to  service  for  a  term  of  years, 
and  excluding  Indians  not  taxed, — three-fifths  of  all  other 

It  says  "persons,"  not  slaves,  not  negroes;  but  this 
"three-fifths"  can  be  applied  to  no  other  class  among 
us  than  the  negroes. 

Lastly,  in  the  provision  for  the  reclamation  of  fugi- 
tive slaves,   it  is  said: — 

No  person  held  to  service  or  labor  in  one  State,  under  the 
laws  thereof,  escaping  into  another,  shall,  in  consequence  of 
any  law  or  regulation  therein,  be  discharged  from  such  ser- 
vice or  labor,  but  shall  be  delivered  up,  on  claim  of  the 
party  to  whom  such  service  or  labor  may  be  due. 


There  again  there  is  no  mention  of  the  word  "negro,'* 
or  of  slavery.  In  all  three  of  these  places,  being  the  only 
allusions  to  slavery  in  the  instrument,  covert  language 
is  used.  Language  is  used  not  suggesting  that  slavery 
existed  or  that  the  black  race  were  among  us.  And  I  un- 
derstand the  contemporaneous  history  of  those  times  to 
be  that  covert  language  w^s  used  with  a  purpose,  and 
that  purpose  was  that  in  our  Constitution,  which  it  was 
hoped  and  is  still  hoped  will  endure  forever, — when  it 
should  be  read  by  intelligent  and  patriotic  men,  after 
the  institution  of  slavery  had  passed  from  among  us, 
— there  should  be  nothing  on  the  face  of  the  great 
charter  of  liberty  suggesting  that  such  a  thing  as  negro 
slavery  had  ever  existed  among  us.  This  is  part  of  the 
evidence  that  the  fathers  of  the  Government  expected 
and  intended  the  institution  of  slavery  to  come  to  an 
end.  They  expected  and  intended  that  it  should  be  in 
the  course  of  ultimate  extinction.  And  when  I  say 
that  I  desire  to  see  the  further  spread  of  it  arrested,  I 
only  say  I  desire  to  see  that  done  which  the  fathers  have 
first  done.  When  I  say  I  desire  to  see  it  placed  where 
the  public  mind  will  rest  in  the  belief  that  it  is  in  the 
course  of  ultimate  extinction,  I  only  say  I  desire  to  see 
it  placed  where  they  placed  it.  It  is  not  true  that  our 
fathers,  as  Judge  Douglas  assumes,  made  this  Govern- 
ment part  slave  and  part  free.  Understand  the  sense 
in  which  he  puts  it.  He  assumes  that  slavery  is  a 
rightful  thing  within  itself, — was  introduced  by  the 
framers  of  the  Constitution.  The  exact  truth  is,  that 
they  found  the  institution  existing  among  us,  and  they 
left  it  as  they  found  it.  But  in  making  the  Govern- 
ment they  left  this  institution  with  many  clear  marks 


of  disapprobation  upon  it.  They  found  slavery  among 
them,  and  they  left  it  among  them  because  of  the  diffi- 
culty— the  absolute  impossibility — of  its  immediate  re- 
moval. And  when  Judge  Douglas  asks  me  why  we 
cannot  let  it  remain  part  slave  and  part  free,  as  the 
fathers  of  the  Government  made  it,  he  asks  a  question 
based  upon  an  assumption  which  is  itself  a  falsehood; 
and  I  turn  upon  him  and  ask  him  the  question,  when 
the  policy  that  the  fathers  of  the  Government  had 
adopted  in  relation  to  this  element  among  us  was  the 
best  policy  in  the  world,  the  only  wise  policy,  the  only 
policy  that  we  can  ever  safely  continue  upon,  that  will 
ever  give  us  peace,  unless  this  dangerous  element  mas- 
ters us  all  and  becomes  a  national  institution, — I  turn 
upon  him  and  ask  him  why  he  could  not  leave  it  alone. 
I  turn  and  ask  him  why  he  was  driven  to  the  necessity 
of  introducing  a  new  policy  in  regard  to  it.  He  has 
himself  said  he  introduced  a  new  policy.  He  said  so  in 
his  speech  on  the  22d  of  March  of  the  present  year,  1858. 
1  ask  him  why  he  could  not  let  it  remain  where  our  fa- 
thers placed  it.  I  ask,  too,  of  Judge  Douglas  and  his 
friends,  why  we  shall  not  again  place  this  institution  up- 
on the  basis  on  which  the  fathers  left  it.  I  ask  you,  when 
he  infers  that  I  am  in  favor  of  setting  the  Free  and  Slave 
States  at  war,  when  the  institution  was  placed  in  that  at- 
titude by  those  who  made  the  Constitution,  did  they 
make  any  war?  If  we  had  no  war  out  of  it  when  thus 
placed,  wherein  is  the  ground  of  belief  that  we  shall 
have  war  out  of  it  if  we  return  to  that  policy?  Have  we 
had  any  peace  upon  this  matter  springing  from  any  other 
basis?  I  maintain  that  we  have  not.  I  have  proposed 
nothing  more  than  a  return  to  the  policy  of  the  fathers. 


I  confess,  when  I  propose  a  certain  measure  of  policy, 
it  is  not  enough  for  me  that  I  do  not  intend  anything 
evil  in  the  result,  but  it  is  incumbent  on  me  to  show 
that  it  has  not  a  tendency  to  that  result.  I  have  met 
Judge  Douglas  in  that  point  of  viev/.  I  have  not  only 
made  the  declaration  that  I  do  not  mean  to  produce  a 
conflict  between  the  States,  but  I  have  tried  to  show 
by  fair  reasoning,  and  I  think  I  have  shown  to  the 
minds  of  fair  men,  that  I  propose  nothing  but  what 
has  a  most  peaceful  tendency.  The  quotation  that  I 
happened  to  make  in  that  Springfield  speech,  that  **a 
house  divided  against  itself  cannot  stand,''  and  which 
has  proved  so  offensive  to  the  Judge,  was  part  and  par- 
cel of  the  same  thing.  He  tries  to  show  that  variety 
in  the  domestic  institutions  of  the  different  States  is 
necessary  and  indispensable.  I  do  not  dispute  it.  I 
have  no  controversy  with  Judge  Douglas  about  that. 
I  shall  very  readily  agree  with  him  that  it  would  be 
foolish  for  us  to  insist  upon  having  a  cranberry  law 
here  in  Illinois  where  we  have  no  cranberries,  because 
they  have  a  cranberry  law  in  Indiana,  where  they  have 
cranberries.  I  should  insist  that  it  would  be  exceed- 
ingly wrong  in  us  to  deny  to  Virginia  the  right  to  en- 
act oyster  laws,  where  they  have  oysters,  because  we 
want  no  such  laws  here.  I  understand,  I  hope,  quite 
as  well  as  Judge  Douglas  or  anybody  else,  that  the 
variety  in  the  soil  and  climate  and  face  of  the  country, 
and  consequent  variety  in  the  industrial  pursuits  and 
productions  of  a  country,  require  systems  of  law  con- 
forming to  this  variety  in  the  natural  features  of  the 
country.  I  understand  quite  as  well  as  Judge  Douglas, 
that  if  we  here  raise  a  barrel  of  flour  more  than  we 


want,  and  the  Louisianians  raise  a  barrel  of  sugar  more 
than  they  want,  it  is  of  mutual  advantage  to  exchange. 
That  produces  commerce,  brings  us  together,  and  makes 
us  better  friends.  We  like  one  another  the  more  for 
it.  And  I  understand  as  well  as  Judge  Douglas,  or 
anybody  else,  that  these  mutual  accommodations  are 
the  cements  which  bind  together  the  different  parts  of 
this  Union;  that  instead  of  being  a  thing  to  "divide 
the  house,*' — figuratively  expressing  the  Union, — they 
tend  to  sustain  it;  they  are  the  props  of  the  house, 
tending  always  to  hold  it  up. 

But  when  I  have  admitted  all  this,  I  ask  if  there  is 
any  parallel  between  these  things  and  this  institution 
of  slavery.  I  do  not  see  that  there  is  any  parallel  at  all 
between  them.  Consider  it.  When  have  we  had  any 
difficulty  or  quarrel  amongst  ourselves  about  the  cran- 
berry laws  of  Indiana,  or  the  oyster  laws  of  Virginia, 
or  the  pine-lumber  laws  of  Maine,  or  the  fact  that 
Louisiana  produces  sugar,  and  Illinois  flour?  When 
have  we  had  any  quarrels  over  these  things?  When 
have  we  had  perfect  peace  in  regard  to  this  thing  which 
I  say  is  an  element  of  discord  in  this  Union.  We  have 
sometimes  had  peace,  but  when  was  it?  It  was  when 
the  institution  of  slavery  remained  quiet  where  it  was. 
We  have  had  difficulty  and  turmoil  whenever  it  has 
made  a  struggle  to  spread  itself  where  it  was  not.  I 
ask,  then,  if  experience  does  not  speak  in  thunder- 
tones,  telling  us  that  the  policy  which  has  given  peace 
to  the  country  heretofore,  being  returned  to,  gives  the 
greatest  promise  of  peace  again.  You  may  say,  and 
Judge  Douglas  has  intimated  the  same  thing,  that  all 
this  difficulty  in  regard  to  the  institution  of  slavery  is 


the  mere  agitation  of  office-seekers  and  ambitious 
northern  politicians.  He  thinks  we  want  to  get  **his 
place,'*  I  suppose.  I  agree  that  there  are  office-seekers 
amongst  us.  The  Bible  says  somewhere  that  we  are 
desperately  selfish.  I  think  we  would  have  discovered 
that  fact  without  the  Bible.  I  do  not  claim  that  I  am 
any  less  so  than  the  average  of  men,  but  I  do  claim  that 
I  am  not  more  selfish  than  Judge  Douglas. 

But  is  it  true  that  all  the  difficulty  and  agitation  we 
have  in  regard  to  this  institution  of  slavery  springs 
from  office-seeking,  from  the  mere  ambition  of  politi- 
cians? Is  that  the  truth?  How  many  times  have  we 
had  danger  from  this  question?  Go  back  to  the  day  of 
the  Missouri  Compromise.  Go  back  to  the  Nullification 
question,  at  the  bottom  of  which  lay  this  same  slavery 
question.  Go  back  to  the  time  of  the  annexation  of 
Texas.  Go  back  to  the  troubles  that  led  to  the  Com- 
promise of  1850.  You  will  find  that  every  time,  with 
the  single  exception  of  the  Nullification  question,  they 
sprung  from  an  endeavor  to  spread  this  institution. 
There  never  was  a  party  in  the  history  of  this  country, 
and  there  probaoly  never  will  be,  of  sufficient  strength 
to  disturb  the  general  peace  of  the  country.  Parties 
themselves  may  be  divided  and  quarrel  on  minor  ques- 
tions, yet  it  extends  not  beyond  the  parties  themselves. 
But  does  not  this  question  make  a  disturbance  outside 
of  political  circles?  Does  it  not  enter  into  the  churches 
and  rend  them  asunder?  What  divided  the  great 
Methodist  church  into  two  parts.  North  and  South? 
What  has  raised  this  constant  disturbance  in  every 
Presbyterian  General  Assembly  that  meets?  What  dis- 
turbed the  Unitarian  Church  in  this  very  city  two  years 


ago?  What  has  jarred  and  shaken  the  great  American 
Tract  Society  recently,  not  yet  splitting  it,  but  sure  to 
divide  it  in  the  end?  Is  it  not  this  same  mighty,  deep- 
seated  power  that  somehow  operates  on  the  minds  of 
men,  exciting  and  stirring  them  up  in  every  avenue  of 
society,  —  in  politics,  in  religion,  in  literature,  in 
morals,  in  all  the  manifold  relations  of  life?  Is  this 
the  work  of  politicians?  Is  that  irresistible  power, 
which  for  fifty  years  has  shaken  the  Government  and 
agitated  the  people,  to  be  stilled  and  subdued  by  pre- 
tending that  it  is  an  exceedingly  simple  thing,  and  we 
ought  not  to  talk  about  it?  If  you  will  get  everybody 
else  to  stop  talking  about  it,  I  assure  you  I  will  quit 
before  they  have  half  done  so.  But  where  is  the  phi- 
losophy or  statesmanship  which  assumes  that  you  can 
quiet  that  disturbing  element  in  our  society  which  has 
disturbed  us  for  more  than  half  a  century,  which  has 
been  the  only  serious  danger  that  has  threatened  our 
institutions, —  I  say,  where  is  the  philosophy  or  the 
statesmanship  based  on  the  assumption  that  we  are  to 
quit  talking  about  it,  and  that  the  public  mind  is  all 
at  once  to  cease  being  agitated  by  it!  Yet  this  is  the 
policy  here  in  the  North  that  Douglas  is  advocating, — 
that  we  are  to  care  nothing  about  it!  I  ask  you  if  it 
is  not  a  false  philosophy?  Is  it  not  a  false  statesman- 
ship that  undertakes  to  build  up  a  system  of  policy  upon 
the  basis  of  caring  nothing  about  the  very  thing  that 
everybody  does  care  the  most  about? — a  thing  which 
all  experience  has  shown  we  care  a  very  great  deal 

The  Judge  alludes  very  often  in  the  course  of  his  re- 
marks to  the  exclusive  right  which  the  States  have  to 


decide  the  whole  thing  for  themselves.  I  agree  with 
him  very  readily  that  the  different  States  have  that 
right. . . .  What  I  insist  upon  is,  that  the  new  Terri- 
tories shall  be  kept  free  from  it  while  in  the  Territorial 
condition.  Judge  Douglas  assumes  that  we  have  no 
interest  in  them, — that  we  have  no  right  whatever  to 
interfere.  I  think  we  have  some  interest.  I  think 
that  as  white  men  we  have.  Do  we  not  wish  for  an 
outlet  for  our  surplus  population,  if  I  may  so  express 
myself?  Do  we  not  feel  an  interest  in  getting  to  that 
outlet  with  such  institutions  as  we  would  like  to  have 
prevail  there?  If  you  go  to  a  Territory  opposed  to 
slavery,  and  another  man  comes  upon  the  same  ground 
with  his  slave,  upon  the  assumption  that  the  things  are 
equal,  it  turns  out  that  he  has  the  equal  right  all  his 
way,  and  you  have  no  part  of  it  your  way.  If  he  goes 
in  and  makes  it  a  Slave  Territory,  and,  by  consequence, 
a  Slave  State,  is  it  not  time  that  those  who  desire  to 
have  it  a  Free  State  were  on  equal  ground?  Let  me 
suggest  it  in  a  different  way.  How  many  Democrats 
are  there  about  here  [**A  thousand."]  who  have  left 
Slave  States  and  come  into  the  Free  State  of  Illinois  to 
get  rid  of  the  institution  of  slavery?  [Another  voice: 
"A  thousand  and  one."]  I  reckon  there  are  a  thou- 
sand and  one.  I  will  ask  you,  if  the  policy  you  are 
now  advocating  had  prevailed  when  this  country  was  in 
a  Territorial  condition,  where  would  you  have  gone  to 
get  rid  of  it?  Where  would  you  have  found  your  Free 
State  or  Territory  to  go  to?  And  when  hereafter,  for 
any  cause,  the  people  in  this  place  shall  desire  to  find 
new  homes,  if  they  wish  to  be  rid  of  the  institution, 
where  will  they  find  the  place  to  go  to? 


Now,  irrespective  of  the  moral  aspect  of  this  ques- 
tion as  to  whether  there  is  a  right  or  wrong  in  enslav- 
ing a  negro,  I  am  still  in  favor  of  our  new  Territories 
being  in  such  a  condition  that  white  men  may  find  a 
home, — may  find  some  spot  where  they  can  better  their 
condition;  where  they  can  settle  upon  new  soil  and 
better  their  condition  in  life.  I  am  in  favor  of  this, 
not  merely  (I  must  say  it  here  as  I  have  elsewhere)  for 
our  own  people  who  are  born  amongst  us,  but  as  an 
outlet  for  free  white  people  everywhere,  the  world  over, 
— in  which  Hans,  and  Baptiste,  and  Patrick,  and  all 
other  men  from  all  the  world,  may  find  new  homes  and 
better  their  conditions  in  life. 

I  understand  I  have  ten  minutes  yet.  I  will  employ 
it  in  saying  something  about  this  argument  Judge 
Douglas  uses,  while  he  sustains  the  Dred  Scott  decision, 
that  the  people  of  the  Territories  can  still  somehow  ex- 
clude slavery.  The  first  thing  I  ask  attention  to  is  the 
fact  that  Judge  Douglas  constantly  said,  before  the  de- 
cision, that  whether  they  could  or  not  was  a  question 
for  the  Supreme  Court.  But  after  the  court  has  made 
the  decision  he  virtually  says  it  is  not  a  question  for 
the  Supreme  Court,  but  for  the  people.  And  how  is 
it  he  tells  us  they  can  exclude  it?  He  says  it  needs 
"police  regulations,"  and  that  it  admits  of  "unfriendly 
legislation."  Although  it  is  a  right  established  by  the 
Constitution  of  the  United  States  to  take  a  slave  into 
a  Territory  of  the  United  States  and  hold  him  as  prop- 
erty, yet  unless  the  Territorial  Legislature  will  give 
friendly  legislation,  and,  more  especially,  if  they  adopt 
unfriendly  legislation,  they  can  practically  exclude  him. 
Now,  without  meeting  this  proposition  as  a  matter  of 


fact,  I  pass  to  consider  the  real  constitutional  obliga- 
tion. Let  me  take  the  gentleman  who  looks  me  in  the 
face  before  me,  and  let  us  suppose  that  he  is  a  member 
of  the  Territorial  Legislature.  The  first  thing  he  will 
do  will  be  to  swear  that  he  will  support  the  Constitu- 
tion of  the  United  States.  His  neighbor  by  his  side 
in  the  Territory  has  slaves  and  needs  Territorial  legis- 
lation to  enable  him  to  enjoy  that  constitutional  right. 
Can  he  withhold  the  legislation  which  his  neighbor 
needs  for  the  enjoyment  of  a  right  which  is  fixed  in  his 
favor  in  the  Constitution  of  the  United  States  which 
he  has  sworn  to  support?  Can  he  withhold  it  without 
violating  his  oath?  And,  more  especially,  can  he  pass 
unfriendly  legislation  to  violate  his  oath.  Why,  this 
is  a  monstrous  sort  of  talk  about  the  Constitution  of 
the  United  States!  There  has  never  been  as  outlandish 
or  lawless  a  doctrine  from  the  mouth  of  any  respect- 
able man  on  earth.  I  do  not  believe  it  is  a  constitu- 
tional right  to  hold  slaves  in  a  Territory  of  the  United 
States.  I  believe  the  decision  was  improperly  made.  I 
go  for  reversing  it.  Judge  Douglas  is  furious  against 
those  who  go  for  reversing  a  decision.  But  he  is  for 
legislating  it  out  of  all  force  while  the  law  itself  stands. 
I  repeat  that  there  has  never  been  so  monstrous  a  doc- 
trine uttered  from  the  mouth  of  a  respectable  man. 

I  suppose  most  of  us  (I  know  it  of  myself)  believe 
that  the  people  of  the  Southern  States  are  entitled  to  a 
Congressional  Fugitive  Slave  law, — that  is  a  right  fixed 
in  the  Constitution.  But  it  cannot  be  made  available 
to  them  without  Congressional  legislation.  In  the 
Judge's  language,  it  is  a  "barren  right, *'  which  needs 
legislation  before  it  can  become  eflicient  and  valuable 


to  the  persons  to  whom  it  is  guaranteed.  And  as  the 
right  is  constitutional,  I  agree  that  the  legislation  shall 
be  granted  to  it, — and  that  not  that  we  like  the  insti- 
tution of  slavery.  We  profess  we  have  no  taste  for 
running  and  catching  niggers, — at  least,  I  profess  no 
taste  for  that  job  at  all.  Why  then  do  I  yield  support 
to  a  Fugitive  Slave  law?  Because  I  do  not  understand 
that  the  Constitution,  which  guarantees  that  right,  can 
be  supported  without  it.  And  if  I  believed  that  the 
right  to  hold  a  slave  in  a  Territory  was  equally  fixed 
in  the  Constitution  with  the  right  to  reclaim  fugitives, 
I  should  be  bound  to  give  it  the  legislation  necessary 
to  support  it.  I  say  that  no  man  can  deny  his  obliga- 
tion to  give  the  necessary  legislation  to  support  slavery 
in  a  Territory,  who  believes  it  is  a  constitutional  right 
to  have  it  there.  No  man  can,  who  does  not  give  the 
Abolitionists  an  argument  to  deny  the  obligation  en- 
joined by  the  Constitution  to  enact  a  Fugitive  Slave 
law.  Try  it  now.  It  is  the  strongest  Abolition  argu- 
ment ever  made.  I  say,  if  that  Dred  Scott  decision  is 
correct,  then  the  right  to  hold  slaves  in  a  Territory  is 
equally  a  constitutional  right  with  the  right  of  a  slave- 
holder to  have  his  runaway  returned.  No  one  can  show 
the  distinction  between  them.  The  one  is  express,  so 
that  we  cannot  deny  it.  The  other  is  construed  to  be 
in  the  Constitution,  so  that  he  who  believed  the  de- 
cision to  be  correct  believes  in  the  right.  And  the  man 
who  argues  that  by  unfriendly  legislation,  in  spite  of 
that  constitutional  right,  slavery  may  be  driven  from 
the  Territories,  cannot  avoid  furnishing  an  argument 
by  which  Abolitionists  may  deny  the  obligation  to  re- 
turn fugitives,  and  claim  the  power  to  pass  laws  un- 


friendly  to  the  right  of  the  slaveholder  to  reclaim  his 
fugitive.  I  do  not  know  how  such  an  argument  may 
strike  a  popular  assembly  like  this,  but  I  defy  anybody 
to  go  before  a  body  of  men  whose  minds  are  educated 
to  estimating  evidence  and  reasoning,  and  show  that 
there  is  an  iota  of  difference  between  the  constitutional 
right  to  reclaim  a  fugitive,  and  the  constitutional  right 
to  hold  a  slave,  in  a  Territory,  provided  this  Dred  Scott 
decision  is  correct.  I  defy  any  man  to  make  an  argu- 
ment that  will  justify  unfriendly  legislation  to  de- 
prive a  slaveholder  of  his  right  to  hold  his  slave  in  a 
Territory,  that  will  not  equally,  in  all  its  length, 
breadth,  and  thickness,  furnish  an  argument  for  nulli- 
fying the  Fugitive  Slave  law.  Why,  there  is  not  such 
an  Abolitionist  in  the  nation  as  Douglas,  after  all. 


Mr.  Lincoln  has  concluded  his  remarks  by  saying  that 
there  is  not  such  an  Abolitionist  as  I  am  in  all  America. 
If  he  could  make  the  Abolitionists  of  Illinois  believe 
that,  he  would  not  have  much  show  for  the  Senate. 
Let  him  make  the  Abolitionists  believe  the  truth  of 
that  statement,  and  his  political  back  is  broken. 

His  first  criticism  upon  me  is  the  expression  of  his 
hope  that  the  war  of  the  Administration  will  be  prose- 
cuted against  me  and  the  Democratic  party  of  this  State 
with  vigor.  He  wants  that  war  prosecuted  with  vigor; 
I  have  no  doubt  of  it.  His  hopes  of  success  and  the 
hopes  of  his  party  depend  solely  upon  it.  They  have 
no  chance  of  destroying  the  Democracy  of  this  State 
except  by  the  aid  of  Federal  patronage.    He  has  all  the 


Federal  officeholders  here  as  his  allies,  running  separate 
tickets  against  the  Democracy  to  divide  the  party,  al- 
though the  leaders  all  intend  to  vote  directly  the  Abo- 
lition ticket,  and  only  leave  the  greenhorns  to  vote  this 
separate  ticket  who  refuse  to  go  into  the  Abolition 
camp.  There  is  something  really  refreshing  in  the 
thought  that  Mr.  Lincoln  is  in  favor  of  prosecuting 
one  war  vigorously.  It  is  the  first  war  I  ever  knew 
him  to  be  in  favor  of  prosecuting.  It  is  the  first  war 
I  ever  knew  him  to  believe  to  be  just  or  constitutional. 
When  the  Mexican  War  was  being  waged,  and  the 
American  army  was  surrounded  by  the  enemy  in  Mex- 
ico, he  thought  that  war  was  unconstitutional,  un- 
necessary, and  unjust.  He  thought  it  was  not  com- 
menced on  the  right  spot. 

When  I  made  an  incidental  allusion  of  that  kind  in 
the  joint  discussion  over  at  Charleston  some  weeks  ago, 
Lincoln,  in  replying,  said  that  I,  Douglas,  had  charged 
him  with  voting  against  supplies  for  the  Mexican  War, 
and  then  reared  up,  full  length,  and  swore  that  he 
never  voted  against  the  supplies;  that  it  was  a  slander, 
and  caught  hold  of  Ficklin,^  who  sat  on  the  stand,  and 
said,  **Here,  Ficklin,  tell  the  people  that  it  is  a  lie." 
Well,  Ficklin,  who  had  served  in  Congress  with  him, 
stood  up  and  told  them  all  that  he  recollected  about  it. 
It  was  that,  when  George  Ashmun,'^  of  Massachusetts, 
brought  forward  a  resolution  declaring  the  war  un- 
constitutional, unnecessary,  and  unjust,  that  Lincoln 
had  voted  for  it.     ''Yes,''  said  Lincoln,  "I  did."    Thus 

1.  Orlando  B.  Ficklin,  of  Coles  county,  Illinois,  served  with  Lincoln  in  the 
state  Legislature  and  in  Congress. 

2,  George  Ashmun,  a  member  of  Congress  from  Massachusetts, 


he  confessed  that  he  voted  that  the  war  was  wrong, 
that  our  country  was  in  the  wrong,  and  consequently 
that  the  Mexicans  were  in  the  right;  but  charged  that 
I  had  slandered  him  by  saying  that  he  voted  against 
the  supplies.  I  never  charged  him  with  voting  against 
the  supplies  in  my  life,  because  I  knew  that  he  was  not 
in  Congress  when  they  were  voted.  The  war  was  com- 
menced on  the  13th  day  of  May,  1846,  and  on  that  day 
we  appropriated  in  Congress  ten  millions  of  dollars  and 
fifty  thousand  men  to  prosecute  it.  During  the  same 
session  we  voted  more  men  and  more  money,  and  at 
the  next  session  we  voted  more  men  and  more  money, 
so  that  by  the  time  Mr.  Lincoln  entered  Congress  we 
had  enough  men  and  enough  money  to  carry  on  the 
war,  and  had  no  occasion  to  vote  for  any  more.  When 
he  got  into  the  House,  being  opposed  to  the  war,  and 
not  being  able  to  stop  the  supplies,  because  they  had 
all  gone  forward,  all  he  could  do  was  to  follow  the 
lead  of  Corwin,*  and  prove  that  the  war  was  not  begun 
on  the  right  spot,  and  that  it  was  unconstitutional, 
unnecessary,  and  wrong. "^  Remember,  too,  that  this 
he  did  after  the  war  had  been  begun.  It  is  one  thing 
to  be  opposed  to  the  declaration  of  a  war,  another  and 
very  different  thing  to  take  sides  with  the  enemy 
against  your  own  country  after  the  war  has  been  com- 
menced. Our  army  was  in  Mexico  at  the  time,  many 
battles  had  been  fought;  our  citizens,  who  were  de- 
fending the  honor  of  their  country's  flag,  were  sur- 

1.  Thomas  Corwin,  of  Ohio,  a  member  of  Congress,  was  a  Whig  leader  who 
led  the  opposition  to  the  Mexican  War  declared  by  a  Democratic  administra- 

2,  The  doubt  of  these  Whig  leaders  concerning  the  justification  of  the  war 
on  Mexico  has  been  gradually  growing  in  the  opinion  of  the  American  people 
since  that  day. 


rounded  by  the  daggers,  the  guns,  and  the  poison  of 
the  enemy.  Then  it  was  that  Corwin  made  his  speech 
in  which  he  declared  that  the  American  soldiers  ought 
to  be  welcomed  by  the  Mexicans  with  bloody  hands  to 
hospitable  graves;  then  it  was  that  Ashmun  and  Lin- 
coln voted  in  the  House  of  Representatives  that  the  war 
was  unconstitutional  and  unjust;  and  Ashmun's  resolu- 
tion, Corwin's  speech,  and  Lincoln's  vote  were  sent  to 
Mexico  and  read  at  the  head  of  the  Mexican  army,  to 
prove  to  them  that  there  was  a  Mexican  party  in  the 
Congress  of  the  United  States  who  were  doing  all  in 
their  power  to  aid  them.  That  a  man  takes  sides  with 
the  common  enemy  against  his  own  country  in  time  of 
war  should  rejoice  in  a  war  being  made  on  me  now,  is 
very  natural.  And,  in  my  opinion,  no  other  kind  of  a 
man  would  rejoice  in  it. .  . . 

Mr.  Lincoln  told  you  that  the  slavery  question  was 
the  only  thing  that  ever  disturbed  the  peace  and  har- 
mony of  the  Union.  Did  not  Nullification^  once  raise 
its  head  and  disturb  the  peace  of  this  Union  in  1832? 
Was  that  the  slavery  question,  Mr.  Lincoln?  Did  not 
disunion  raise  its  monster  head  during  the  last  war 
with  Great  Britain?  Was  that  the  slavery  question, 
Mr.  Lincoln?  The  peace  of  this  country  has  been  dis- 
turbed three  times,  once  during  the  war  with  Great 
Britain,  once  on  the  tariff  question,  and  once  on  the 

1  The  theory  so  strongly  advocated  by  Calhoun  that  any  state  has  the 
right  to  declare  null  and  void  within  its  boundaries  any  United  States  law 
which  the  State  thinks  unconstitutional.  In  1832  South  Carolina  declared 
that  the  tariff  acts  of  1828  and  1832  were  null  and  void,  and  that  if  the  bed- 
eralGoverment  tried  to  enforce  them  in  that  State,  the  State  would  with- 
draw  from  the  Union.  President  Jackson  declared  that  he  would  use  force 
to  administer  the  law.  but  before  this  became  necessary  a  new  tariff  act  more 
favorable  to  the  South  was  enacted. 


slavery  question.  His  argument,  therefore,  that  slav- 
ery is  the  only  question  that  has  ever  created  dissen- 
sion in  the  Union  falls  to  the  ground.  It  is  true  that 
agitators  are  enabled  now  to  use  this  slavery  question 
for  the  purpose  of  sectional  strife.  He  admits  that  in 
regard  to  all  things  else,  the  principle  that  I  advocate, 
making  each  State  and  Territory  free  to  decide  for  it- 
self, ought  to  prevail.  He  instances  the  cranberry  laws 
and  the  oyster  laws,  and  he  might  have  gone  through 
the  whole  list  with  the  same  effect.  I  say  that  all  these 
laws  are  local  and  domestic,  and  that  local  and  domes- 
tic concerns  should  be  left  to  each  State  and  each  Ter- 
ritory to  manage  for  itself.  If  agitators  would  ac- 
quiesce in  that  principle,  there  never  would  be  any 
danger  to  the  peace  and  harmony  of  the  Union. 

Mr.  Lincoln  tries  to  avoid  the  main  issue  by  attack- 
ing the  truth  of  my  proposition,  that  our  fathers  made 
this  Government  divided  into  Free  and  Slave  States, 
recognizing  the  right  of  each  to  decide  all  its  local 
questions  for  itself.  Did  they  not  thus  make  it?  It  is 
true  that  they  did  not  establish  slavery  in  any  of  the 
States,  or  abolish  it  in  any  of  them;  but  finding  thir- 
teen States,  twelve  of  which  were  slave  and  one  free, 
they  agreed  to  form  a  Government  uniting  them  to- 
gether as  they  stood,  divided  into  Free  and  Slave 
States,  and  to  guarantee  forever  to  each  State  the  right 
to  do  as  it  pleased  on  the  slavery  question.  Having 
thus  made  the  Government,  and  conferred  this  right 
upon  each  State  forever,  I  assert  that  this  Government 
can  exist  as  they  made  it,  divided  into  Free  and  Slave 
States,  if  any  one  State  chooses  to  retain  slavery.  He 
says  that  he  looks  forward  to  a  time  when  slavery  shall 


be  abolished  everywhere.  I  look  forward  to  a  time 
when  each  State  shall  be  allowed  to  do  as  it  pleases. 
If  it  chooses  to  keep  slavery  forever,  it  is  not  my  busi- 
ness, but  its  own;  if  it  chooses  to  abolish  slavery,  it  is 
its  own  business, — not  mine.  I  care  more  for  the 
great  principle  of  self-government,  the  right  of  the 
people  to  rule,  than  I  do  for  all  the  negroes  in  Chris- 
tendom. I  would  not  endanger  the  perpetuity  of  this 
Union,  I  would  not  blot  out  the  great  inalienable  rights 
of  the  white  men,  for  all  the  negroes  that  ever  existed. 
Hence,  I  say,  let  us  maintain  this  Government  on  the 
principles  that  our  fathers  made  it,  recognizing  the 
right  of  each  State  to  keep  slavery  as  long  as  its  people 
determine,  or  to  abolish  it  when  they  please.  But  Mr. 
Lincoln  says  that  when  our  fathers  made  this  Govern- 
ment they  did  not  look  forward  to  the  state  of  things 
now  existing,  and  therefore  he  thinks  the  doctrine  was 
wrong;  and  he  quotes  Brooks,  of  South  Carolina,  to 
prove  that  our  fathers  then  thought  that  probably 
slavery  would  be  abolished  by  each  State  acting  for 
itself  before  this  time.  Suppose  they  did;  suppose 
they  did  not  foresee  what  has  occurred, — does  that 
change  the  principles  of  our  Government?  They  did 
not  probably  foresee  the  telegraph  that  transmits  intel- 
ligence by  lightning,  nor  did  they  foresee  the  railroads 
that  now  form  the  bonds  of  union  between  the  different 
States,  or  the  thousand  mechanical  inventions  that  have 
elevated  mankind.  But  do  these  things  change  the 
principles  of  the  Government?  Our  fathers,  I  say, 
made  this  Government  on  the  principle  of  the  right  of 
each  State  to  do  as  it  pleases  in  its  own  domestic 
affairs,  subject  to  the  Constitution,   and   allowed  the 


people  of  each  to  apply  to  every  new  change  of  circum- 
stances such  remedy  as  they  may  see  fit  to  improve 
their  condition:  This  right  they  have  for  all  time  to 

Mr.  Lincoln  went  on  to  tell  you  that  he  does  not  at 
all  desire  to  interfere  with  slavery  in  the  States  where 
it  exists,  nor  does  his  party.  I  expected  him  to  say 
that  down  here.  Let  me  ask  him,  then,  how  he  ex- 
pects to  put  slavery  in  the  course  of  ultimate  extinction 
everywhere,  if  he  does  not  intend  to  interfere  with  it 
in  the  States  where  it  exists?  He  says  that  he  will 
prohibit  it  in  all  Territories,  and  the  inference  is,  then, 
that  unless  they  make  Free  States  out  of  them  he  will 
keep  them  out  of  the  Union;  for,  mark  you,  he  did  not 
say  whether  or  not  he  would  vote  to  admit  Kansas  with 
slavery  or  not,  as  her  people  might  apply  (he  forgot 
that,  as  usual,  etc.);  he  did  not  say  whether  or  not  he 
was  in  favor  of  bringing  the  Territories  now  in  exist- 
ence into  the  Union  on  the  principle  of  Clay's  Compro- 
mise measures  on  the  slavery  question.  I  told  you  that 
he  would  not.  His  idea  is  that  he  will  prohibit  slavery 
in  all  the  Territories,  and  thus  force  them  all  to  be- 
come Free  States,  surrounding  the  Slave  States  with  a 
cordon  of  Free  States,  and  hemming  them  in,  keeping 
the  slaves  confined  to  their  present  limits  whilst  they 
go- on  multiplying,  until  the  soil  on  which  they  live 
will  no  longer  feed  them,  and  he  will  thus  be  able  to 
put  slavery  in  a  course  of  ultimate  extinction  by  star- 
vation. He  will  extinguish  slavery  in  the  Southern 
States  as  the  French  general  exterminated  the  Alge- 
rines  when  he  smoked  them  out.  He  is  going  to  ex- 
tinguish slavery  by  surrounding  the  Slave  States,  hem- 


ming  in  the  slaves,  and  starving  them  out  of  existence, 
as  you  smoke  a  fox  out  of  his  hole.  He  intends  to  do 
that  in  the  name  of  humanity  and  Christianity,  in 
order  that  we  may  get  rid  of  the  terrible  crime  and  sin 
entailed  upon  our  fathers  of  holding  slaves.  Mr.  Lin- 
coln makes  out  that  line  of  policy,  and  appeals  to  the 
moral  sense  of  justice  and  to  the  Christian  feeling  of 
the  community  to  sustain  him.  He  says  that  any  man 
who  holds  to  the  contrary  doctrine  is  in  the  position  of 
the  king  who  claimed  to  govern  by  divine  right.  Let 
us  examine  for  a  moment  and  see  what  principle  it  was 
that  overthrew  the  divine  right  of  George  the  Third  to 
govern  us.  Did  not  these  Colonies  rebel  because  the 
British  Parliament  had  no  right  to  pass  laws  concern- 
ing our  property  and  domestic  and  private  institutions 
without  our  consent!  We  demanded  that  the  British 
Government  should  not  pass  such  laws  unless  they  gave 
us  representation  in  the  body  passing  them;  and  this 
the  British  government  insisting  on  doing,  we  went  to 
war,  on  the  principle  that  the  Home  Government  should 
not  control  and  govern  distant  colonies  without  giving 
them  a  representation.  Now,  Mr  Lincoln  proposes  to 
govern  the  Territories  without  giving  them  a  repre- 
sentation, and  calls  on  Congress  to  pass  laws  controlling 
their  property  and  domestic  concerns  without  their 
consent  and  against  their  will.  Thus,  he  asserts  for 
his  party  the  identical  principle  asserted  by  George  HI 
and  the  Tories  of  the  Revolution.  .  .  . 

My  friends,  if,  as  I  have  said  before,  we  will  only 
live  up  to  this  great  fundamental  principle,  there  will 
be  peace  between  the  North  and  the  South.  Mr.  Lin- 
coln admits  that,  under  the  Constitution,  on  all  domes- 


tic  questions  except  slavery,  we  ought  not  to  interfere 
with  the  people  of  each  State.  What  right  have  we  to 
interfere  with  slavery  any  more  than  we  have  to  inter- 
fere with  any  other  question?  He  says  that  this  slav- 
ery question  is  now  the  bone  of  contention.  Why? 
Simply  because  agitators  have  combined  in  all  the  Free 
States  to  make  war  upon  it.  Suppose  the  agitators  in 
the  States  should  combine  in  one-half  of  the  Union  to 
make  war  upon  the  railroad  system  of  the  other  half? 
They  would  thus  be  driven  to  the  same  sectional  strife. 
Suppose  one  section  makes  w^r  upon  any  other  peculiar 
institution  of  the  opposite  section,  and  the  same  strife 
is  produced.  The  only  remedy  and  safety  is  that  we 
shall  stand  by  the  Constitution  as  our  fathers  made  it, 
obey  the  laws  as  they  are  passed,  while  they  stand  the 
proper  test,  and  sustain  the  decisions  of  the  Supreme 
Court  and  the  constituted  authorities. 


31.  Idylls  of  the  King.  Alfred  Tennyson.  (The  Comingr  of  Arthur,  Gareth  and 
Lynette,  Lancelot  and  Elaine,  The  Passing:  of  Arthur. )  Edited  by  Cyrus  Lauron 
Hooper.  Thomas  C.  Blaisdell,  Ph.D.,  LL.D.,  Supervising  Editor.  Biographical 
sketch,  introduction,  notes  and  questions  for  study,  critical  comments,  and  pro- 
nouncing: vocabulary.    160  pagres ISc. 

33.  Silas  Mamer.  George  Eliot.  Biographical  sketch,  notes,  and  questions  for 
study  on  each  chapter ;  critical  comments,  and  biography.  The  most  complete 
edition  published  for  class  study.  Edited  by  Hiram  R.  Wilson,  State  Normal  Col- 
lege, Athens,  Ohio.    Thomas  C.  Blaisdell,  Ph.D.,  LL.D.,  Supervising  Editor.  .20c. 

34.  Silas  Mamer.    George  Eliot.    Same  as  above,  cloth  bindiner 35c. 

35.  Lady  of  the  Lake.  Sir  Walter  Scott.  Contains  map.  biographical  sketch, 
the  reign  and  character  of  James  V  from  "Tales  of  a  Grandfather,"  pronouncing 
v^ocabulary,  and  comprehensive  notes,  by  Barbara  A.  MacLeod,  teacher  of  English. 
HighSchool,  Dansville,  N.  Y 15c. 

37.  Literature  of  the  Bible.  Matthias  R.  Heilig,  A.M.  This  is  a  scholarly, 
familiar,  and  reverential  treatment  of  the  Bible,  purely  from  a  literary  view-point. 
A.8  the  author  says :  "Whatever  one's  attitude  is  towards  the  Bible,  he  never  can 
have  a  rounded  knowledge  of  the  world's  literature  without  being  acquainted  with 
this  most  phenomenal  book."  Numerous  extracts  from  the  Bible  text  as  illustra- 
tion.   Instructive  and  interesting 15c. 

39.  The  Sketch  Book.  (Selected)  Washington  Irving.  With  introductic  n  and 
notes  by  Edward  A.  Parker,  Ph.B.  Selections  from  the  famous  classic,  covering 
most  of  the  essays  used  in  school  work,  and  including  Rip  Van  Winkle  and  The 
Legend  of  Sleepy  Hollow.    216  pages 1 5c. 

41.  Julius  Caesar.  Shakespeare.  With  introduction,  notes,  and  questions  by 
Thomas  C.  Blaisdell,  Ph.D.,  LL.D.  Newly  edited,  scholarly  and  clear ;  especially 
adapted  for  school  study 15c. 

43.  Macbeth.  Shakespeare.  With  introduction,  notes,  and  questions  by 
Thomas  C.  Blaisdell,  Ph.D.,  LL.D.     Uniform  with  No.  41 c .  1 5c. 

45.  The  Merchant  of  Venice.  Shakespeare.  With  introduction,  notes,  and 
questions  by  Thomas  C.  Blaisdell,  Ph.D.,  LL.D.     Uniform  with  No.  41 15c. 

59.  Poe's  Talcs.  (Selected)  With  introduction  and  notes  by  Edward  A.  Parker, 
Ph.B.  This  edition  comprises  the  eight  stories  which  are  commonly  required  by 
State  course?  of  study,  including  The  Gold  Bug.  The  Masque  of  the  Red  Death.  Tlie 
Fall  of  the  House  of  Usher,  Ligeia,  and  the  Assignation.    176  pages 15c. 

61.  A  Message  to  Garcia,  and  Other  Inspirational  Readings.  Edited,  with 
notes,  by  Edward  A.  Parker,  Ph.B.  This  is  a  supplementary  Reader  for  Crammer 
Grades,  designed  to  be  a  molder  of  character.  Besides  the  famous  story  named  in 
the  title,  there  are  twenty-one  selections  from  famous  English  and  American  au- 
thors, including  Macaulay,  Washington,  Longfellow,  Wendell  Phillips,  Henry  Ward 
Beecher,  Emerson,  and  Hawthorne.  Each  selection  is  an  inspiration  and  an  incen- 
tive towards  character  development lOc 

63.  Lincoln-Douglas  Debates.  Edited,  with  introduction  and  notes,  by  Ed-nan 
Erie  Sparks,  Ph.D..  LL.D..  President  Pennsylvania  State  College.  Authorof  "The 
Expansion  of  the  American  People, "  and  "The  Men  Who  Made  the  Nation."  Presi- 
dent Sparks  was  for  ten  years  a  lecturer  and  professor  of  American  History  at  the 
Universitj'  of  Chicagro,  and.  among  other  works,  prepared  the  edition  of  the  Lincoln- 
Douglas  Debates  published  in  1908  by  the  Illinois  State  Historical  Society.  The 
present  volume  gives,  practically  entire,  the  principal  addresses  from  these  famous 
debates,  with  full  historical  introduction  and  ample  explanatory  notes.  ■  This  will 
be  a  valuable  book  for  school  use,  and  for  students  of  history 20c. 


The  Instructor  literature  Series 


The   Instructor  Literature  Series  comprises  over  three  hundred   titles,  fii ,   > 

all  the  grrades.    The  following  are  selected  from  those  suited  to  the  upper  grade'-  I 
and  the  High  School.    Send  for  complete  catalogue. 




*10  Tlie  Snow  Imago* 

^Jl  Rip  Vnn  Winkle* 

*12  l.pcfnd  of  Sleepy  Hollow* 

*2-'  Kai>  and  His  Friends 

"lA  Three  Gold«m  Apples*     ! 

*'J5  Th  e  M  i  ruculous  Pitcher* 

"26  The  Minotaur 

118  A  Tale  of  the  Wkite  Hills  and  Other 

•119  Bryant's  Thimatopsis  and  Other  Poejns 
*r20  Ten  Selections  from  Lon?-l'eJlow  <Pital 
Kevere'sRide,  Skeleton  in  Armor  a,nd 
Other  Poems) 
*121  Selections    from  Holmes   (Wonderful 
One-Ho99    Shayt    Old  Ironsides,  end 
other  poems) 
*122  The  Pied  Piper  of  Hamelin  and   Other 

161  The    Great    Curlmncle,    Mr.   Higgin- 
botham's   Catastrophe,  Snowtlakes 

162  The  Pyemies 

•Jll  The  Golden  Fleece 

,222  Kinesley'8  Greek  Heroes— Part  I.   The 

Story  of  Perseus 
•223  Kingsley'8  Greek  Heroes-Part  II.  The 

Story  of  Theseus 
*225  Tennyson's  Poems  —Selected  for  Var- 
ious Grades. 
226  A  Child's  Dream  of  a  Star 
229  Responsive  Bible  Readings 
'258  The  Pilgrim's  Progress 
•264  The  Story  of  Don  Quixote 
277  Thrift  Stories 
"284  Story  of  Little  Nell 
*296  The  Gentle  Boy 



*13  Courtship  of  Miles  Standieh 

*14  Evangeline* 
'15  Snowbound* 

*20Tho  Great  Stone  Face.   Bill  from  the 
Town  Pump 

123  Selections  from  Wordsworth 

124  Selections  from  Shelley  and  Kents 
•147  Story     of   King  Arthur,   as    told     by 

•149  Man  Without  a  Country.  The* 
•192  Story  of  Jean  Valjeau— Ffc<i»*  Httoo 
•193  Selections    from    the  Sketch  Book 
196  The  Gray  Champion 

213  Poems  of  Thomas  Moore— Selected 

214  More  Selections  from  the  Sketch  Book 
•216  Lamb's  Tales   from   Shakespeare— Se- 

•231  The   Oregon  Trail    (Condensed   from 


•235  Poems     Worth     Knowing— Book     II 

238  Lamb's  Adventures  of  Ulysses,  Part 
*239  Lamb's  Adventures  of  Ulysses,  Part  I 
•241  Story  of  the  Iliad  (Cond.) 
•242  Story  of  the  .aSneid  fCond.) 
•251  Story  of  Language  and  Literature 
•252  Battle  of  Waterloo 

254  Story  of  the  Talisman 

259  Last  of  the  Mohicans— Abridged 

260  Oliver  Twist— Abridged 

261  Selected  Tales  of  a  Wayside  Inn 
•297  Story  of  David  Copperfield 


'278  Mars  and  Its  Mysteries 
•279  The   True  Story  of  the    Man  in   th 


276  Landing  of  the  Pilgrims— Weba^er 

•17  Enoch  Arden* 

*18  Vision  of  Sir  Launfal* 

'19  Cotter's  Saturday  Night* 

•23  The  Deserted  Village 

1*25  Selections  from  Merchant  of  Venice 

126  Rime  of  the  Ancient  Mariner* 
•127  Gray's  Elegy  and  Other  Poems 
•128  Speeches  of  Lincoln 
*129  Selections  from  Julius  Ceesar 
•130  Selections  from  Henry  the  Eighth 

131  Selections  from  Macbeth 
•142  Scott's  Lady  of  the  Lake— Canto  1* 

143  Building  of  the  Ship  and  Other  Poem 

148  Horatius,  Ivry.  The  Armada 

*150  Bunker   Hill   Address,    and   Selectioi 
from  Adams  and  Jefferson  Oration* 

'151  The  Gold  Bug 

153  Prisoner  of  Chillon  and  Other  Poems 

•154  Scott's   Lady   of  the  Lake—  Canto  II 

155  RhcBcus  and  Other  Poems*- Louc/i 

156  Edgar  Allan  ;Poe— Biography  and  Se 
lected  Poems 

•158  Washington's  Farewell    Address   an* 
Other  Papers* 

169  Abram  Joseph   Ryan— Biography  an< 
Selected  Poems 

170  Paul  H.  Hayne— Biography  and  Select 
ed  Poems 

215  Life  of  Samuel  Johnson— .Va«aatov* 
•221  Sir  Roger  de  Coverley  Papers* 
•286  Poems   Worth   Knowing  —  Book     Iv 
Advanced  ,    ^ 

237  Lay  of  the  Last  Minstrel— Canto  I* 

NOTE.  The  titles  followed  bij  an  aaterif 
{*)  have  biographical  sketch  of  author,  wit 
introduction  or  explanatory  notes. 

Price  6  Cents  Each.  Postage.  1  Cent  Per  Copy  Extra.  Order  by  Numbei 

Twelve  or  more  copies  sent  prepaid  at  72  cents  per  dozen  or  $6.00  per  hundred, 
'Limp  Cloth  Binding.    The  titles  preceded  by  an  asterisk  (*)  are  supplied  als': 
in  limp  cloth  binding  at  10  cents  per  copy.